The City of Hoover announced on Feb. 7 that Aldridge Gardens is now a sensory inclusive venue.
Officials with Aldridge Gardens have partnered with KultureCity to make the grounds sensory inclusive, along with all of the programs and events the Gardens hosts.
According to a release, the initiative “will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests that visit the gardens.” With its new certification, the facility is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities.
“Becoming a ‘sensory inclusive’ garden and venue has been an accomplishment that I am extremely proud of,” says Aldridge Gardens CEO Tynette Lynch. “We want to be fully accessible so all of our visitors, no matter what their needs are, can experience our beautiful Gardens.”
In order to receive sensory inclusive certification, the staff at Aldridge Gardens completed training conducted by medical professionals on how to recognize guests with sensory needs, and on how to handle sensory overload situations.
Sensory overload typically occurs in people who are sensitive to overstimulation and noise, including individuals with autism, dementia and PTSD, among other similar conditions.
Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads will now be available to all guests who may feel overwhelmed by the environment. The facility will also offer quiet spaces throughout the grounds.
Families can download the free KultureCity App prior to visiting the gardens or attending an event at the facility. They can view what sensory features are available and where they can access them through the app, as well as view a Social Story, a feature that will provides a preview of what to expect while attending an event at Aldridge Gardens.
The gardens now joins the more than 350 venues in four countries that have worked with KultureCity to become sensory inclusive. This includes special events such as the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl and MLB All Star Weekend.
“To know that you soon will be able to see families attend a basketball game, a true community binding experience, with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and who were not able to previously attend, is truly a heartwarming moment,” said Dr. Julian Maha, KultureCity co-founder. “Our communities are what shape our lives and to know that Aldridge Gardens is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.”