Potawatomi Zoo becomes sensory inclusive facility

NOW: Potawatomi Zoo becomes sensory inclusive facility


SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Potawatomi Zoo has partnered with a non-profit organization to make the Zoo a more inclusive place for individuals with sensory processing disorders.

Using the KultureCity app for Apple or Android phones, guests with sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation can find what sensory features are available at the Zoo and how to access them.

“The goal this partnership is to provide an inclusive and seamless experience for all guests, including those with sensory needs,” says Josh Sisk, executive director of the Potawatomi Zoo. “We believe it’s important for the Zoo to be accessible to everyone, if possible. Thanks to our Education Curator, Jeremy Gill, who spearheaded this initiative, the Zoo staff went through training with KultureCity prior to becoming a certified inclusive facility.”

Signs can be seen around the Zoo telling visitors which areas are noisy and which are quiet. Using KultureCity's online Social Story for the Zoo, guests can also learn who to ask for assistance and where to find restrooms and food. 

Guests who may feel overwhelmed by their environment can also borrow a sensory bag from the Attraction Tickets booth that contains special KultureCity VIP badges, noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, and other resources.

Bags are available to check out for free by leaving an ID at the booth.

KultureCity is a non-profit organization founded in 2013 by Dr. Julian Maha and Dr. Michele Kong to create and promote acceptance and inclusion for all individuals with unique abilities.

To learn more about this partnership, Visit the Zoo’s website.

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