Sensory Room to be unveiled at Footprint Center in partnership with KultureCity
In recognition of the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury will spotlight and celebrate the disabled community and unveil a new Sensory Room when the team takes on the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Footprint Center.
The evening will feature the national anthem performed in ASL by Natalie Heywood, a life-long fan of the Mercury, a performance by the HipHop Homies – a dance troupe for adults with Down Syndrome – and a halftime wheelchair basketball game with Ability 360.
The ADA, a civil rights measure signed into law on July 26, 1990, protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in all sectors of public life, including employment, transportation, and public accommodations. The Footprint Center is committed to providing every guest with a comfortable and enjoyable experience and offers a full range of accommodations for guests with disabilities (outlined here).
Currently in the United States there are around 61 million people over the age of 15 who have identified themselves as disabled. That number suggests that 26 percent, or one in four Americans, have a disability. In Arizona, about 13 percent of our permeant population is disabled.
Always striving for new ways to enhance the safety, comfort, and enjoyment of guests with disabilities, the Footprint Center will be unveiling a Sensory Room in partnership with KultureCity, a leading non-profit using its resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs
The KultureCity Sensory Room provides a dedicated space designed by medical professionals for those who may need a quieter and more secure environment. Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD, and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to overstimulation and noise, which is an enormous part of the environment in a venue like Footprint Center.
The Sensory Room at the arena will be outfitted with bean bags from Yogibo, visual light panels by Nanoleaf, activity panels, Sparkle Interactive Light (by NunoErin – a therapeutically fun furniture embedded with soft glowing lights that respond to motion), bubble walls, and a custom tactile artwork created by local Mesa artist Clayton Brown of Sticky Woody Ztudio. The room is located in Guest Services and will be open for all events at Footprint Center. Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, and verbal cue cards are also available for check-out for guests who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.
“Our organization continues to look for and learn about ways where we can be even more inclusive, and the opening of the sensory room and our first celebration of the ADA further demonstrates that,” said Mercury President Vince Kozar. “Our games, our team, our arena are welcoming to all, and we’re proud to have Thursday serve as another example.”
Tickets for the game are still available and can be purchased at PhoenixMercury.com/SingleGame.
KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using its resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs, not just those with autism. Since the program’s inception, KultureCity has created over 1,000 sensory-inclusive venues in 6 countries: this includes special events such as the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl and MLB All Star Weekend. KultureCity has won many awards for its efforts, including the NASCAR Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2017 and the 2018 Clio Sports Silver for social good in partnership with Cleveland Cavaliers/Quicken Loans Arena. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quiet Space Sensory Room at Quicken Loans Arena was a finalist for the 2018 Stadium Business Award, KultureCity was named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019 and 2020 by FastCompany and recently won the Industry Partner Award in TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Awards 2019.
KultureCity press contact: Uma Srivastava (firstname.lastname@example.org)