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Zimmerli Art Museum becomes certified for sensory inclusion

The Zimmerli Art Museum staff members were trained to recognize visitors with sensory needs.  – Photo by The Daily Targum

The Zimmerli Art Museum has partnered with KultureCity to make the programs and events held at the museum sensory inclusive, according to a University press release.

KultureCity is a non-profit organization that works to change communities to better benefit those with sensory needs, according to the release. It has created more than 350 sensory inclusive venues in four countries.

Amanda Potter, curator of Education and Interpretation at the Zimmerli Art Museum, coordinated the certification process, the University stated. This process involved the staff of the museum to be trained by medical professionals on how to recognize visitors with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation.

Items such as sensory bags, fidget tools and verbal cue cards are available to guests who may feel overwhelmed by the environment, according to the release.

Challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by those with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions, according to the University. Sensitivity to overstimulation and noise is one of the major barriers for these individuals.

“With its new certification, the Zimmerli Art Museum is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible when attending any exhibition or program at the museum,” said Thomas Sokolowski, director of the Zimmerli Art Museum.

Families can download the KultureCity application to view what sensory features are available and where they can access them prior to attending the museum, the University stated.

KultureCity is actively increasing its presence at cultural institutions such as the Zimmerli Art Museum, according to the University. 

“Our communities are what shape our lives,” said Dr. Julian Maha, co-founder of KultureCity, according to the release. “To know that the Zimmerli Art Museum is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.”

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