This year, the Potawatomi Zoo is partnering with KultureCity to make the Potawatomi Zoo sensory inclusive for individuals with sensory processing disorders. The Zoo is one of three KultureCity certified zoos in Indiana.
“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.”
As a certified Sensory Inclusive facility, visitors to the Zoo with sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation can download the free KultureCity App for Apple or Android phones to view what sensory features are available at the Zoo and how to access them. KultureCity also maintains an online Social Story for the Potawatomi Zoo, which provides a preview of what to expect at the Zoo like places that are noisy, who to ask for assistance, and where to find food or restrooms.
Visitors who may feel overwhelmed by the environment can borrow a sensory bag from the Attraction Tickets booth that contains special KultureCity VIP badges, fidget tools, noise-canceling headphones, and other resources. These bags are available for check out free of charge by leaving an ID.
KultureCity is a non-profit organization founded in 2013 by Dr. Julian Maha and Dr. Michele Kong in order to create and promote acceptance and inclusion for all individuals with unique abilities.
To learn more, visit www.potawatomizoo.org/plan-your-trip/kulturecity-sensory-inclusion