SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) — On Thursday, the Utah Jazz, Vivint Smart Home Arena and KultureCity announced their partnership to make events at the the arena sensory inclusive, which could help guests with Autism, dementia, PTSD, and other conditions, according to a release.
Officials made this announcement on World Autism Day, where organizations around the world show support for those with autism.
The initiative will accommodate guests with sensory sensitivities, allowing them to have a positive experience at events held at the arena. In addition, KultureCity, a national non-profit which pushes for accessibility, gave the Vivint Smart Home Arena a Sensory Inclusion Certification.
“This certification from KultureCity reaffirms our commitment to better understanding our guests with sensory sensitivities through specific staff training and proper resources,” said John Kimball, president of Vivint Smart Home Arena. “As an organization, we seek to cultivate an accepting and inclusive environment for individuals with sensory needs so that they can be participants in all events at Vivint Smart Home Arena.”
Announced in 2018, the Vivint Gives Back Sensory Room provides a safe space for guests with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The room is located on Level 5 between Portals LL and MM and is open during all arena events. It was made by Vivint Gives Back, the philanthropic arm of Vivint Smart Home.
To earn the certification, the arena’s staff received training from experts on how to recognize those with sensory needs and handle a sensory overload situation. Guests attending events at the arena now can choose to either stay in the sensory room or borrow sensory bags filled with equipment to calm those who may feel overwhelmed.
“We appreciate the home arena of the Utah Jazz taking the steps to be sensory inclusive and KultureCity certified,” said Jazz forward and KultureCity board member Joe Ingles. “This is an important movement that not only impacts individuals with autism, but also dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. No doubt, Vivint Smart Home Arena can be loud with our fans, but the presence of a sensory room from Vivint Gives Back and additional tools from KultureCity will help guests better enjoy the experience.”