April 2, 2024 - The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Community Center has partnered with KultureCity® to make the center at 233 West Main Street and all of the programs and events that the venue hosts to be sensory inclusive. KultureCity® is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting inclusivity and accessibility for individuals with sensory needs.

Its flagship initiative, the Sensory Inclusive™ program, has been widely embraced by venues, stadiums and cultural institutions across the nation and around the world. This groundbreaking program provides training and resources to staff, enabling them to better accommodate individuals with sensory sensitivities. As a result, countless families and individuals can now experience and enjoy live events, entertainment and public spaces with greater comfort and ease. This certification will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests with a sensory issue who visit the Community Center.

The certification process entailed the staff to be trained by leading medical and neurodivergent professionals on how to recognize those guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads will also be available to all guests at the FWPR Community Center who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.

Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions; age is no factor in this. Individuals might become overwhelmed from the crowds, lights, sounds, smells or other external stimuli at the Community Center. Founded on the belief that every person deserves to fully participate in all aspects of life, KultureCity® has been a driving force in fostering a culture of acceptance. Through innovative programs and partnerships, KultureCity® has successfully broken-down barriers that often prevent individuals with sensory sensitivities from enjoying public spaces and events. With its new certification, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Community Center staff are now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible when attending any of their events.

Prior to attending an event, families can download the free KultureCity® App where one can view the sensory features that are available and where they can access them. Also, on the App is the Social Story which will provide a preview of what to expect while enjoying an event at the FWPR Community Center.

"Empowering communities through inclusion and innovation, the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Community Center is aligned with the same visionary spirit as KultureCity® and is championing a world where every individual, regardless of ability, is not just accepted but celebrated for their unique contributions to the tapestry of humanity!” said Uma Srivastava, KultureCity® Executive Director.

“We’re honored to partner with KultureCity to provide an inclusive experience for all our guests. This certification helps to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is welcome” said Mary Wagner-Stockman, manager of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Community Center.

KultureCity®, established in 2014, is a dynamic non-profit organization at the forefront of the inclusivity movement which continues to make waves in creating a more accessible and accepting world for individuals with sensory needs and invisible disabilities (found in 1 in 4 of us). In a short 10 years, a few highlights of KultureCity’s impact includes making over 1,800 venues sensory inclusive certified, handing out almost a million sensory bags to individuals in need, making over 150 live events sensory inclusive and saving 48 lives through the KultureCity® First Responder Training. KultureCity’s commitment to inclusivity extends beyond physical spaces. The organization actively collaborates with influential figures, businesses and communities to promote awareness and understanding of invisible disabilities. KultureCity® partners with event industry leaders like NFL, NBA, MLB and FIFA to make their flagship events sensory inclusive. With ongoing initiatives, partnerships and a passionate community of supporters, KultureCity® is set to leave an enduring impact on the landscape of inclusivity.