Training for Staff, ‘Sensory Bags’ for Guests
MELBOURNE, FLA. — The Foosaner Art Museum, Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts and Renee Foosaner Education Center have each been certified as Sensory Inclusive venues and are now specially equipped for patrons with autism, dementia, PTSD or other sensory regulation challenges.
Partnering with the Birmingham, Alabama-based nonprofit KultureCity, staff members at the three Florida Tech facilities underwent training by medical professionals on how to recognize guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags containing noise canceling headphones, fidget tools and verbal cue cards will now be available to all guests at the museum and center who may feel overwhelmed by the environment. And these visitors will also be able to have use of a dedicated quiet area if they need a more secure environment.
“Everyone should be able to explore and experience fine art, and we are very pleased that our training and preparation will mean guests who may have sensory challenges can now feel safe and comfortable visiting our facilities,” said Carla Funk, executive director of university museums.
KultureCity is recognized nationwide for using its resources to effect change for those with sensory needs. In the past year alone, KultureCity has created several sensory inclusive venues and events at zoos, science centers and aquariums across the nation as well as at the NFL Pro Bowl and Super Bowl, 16 NBA arenas, five NFL stadiums and five NHL arenas.
“To know that you soon will be able to see families attend an exhibition or art class, true community binding experiences, with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and who were not able to previously attend, is truly a heartwarming moment,” said Traci Johnson, KultureCity’s executive director. “Our communities are what shape our lives, and to know that the Foosaner Art Museum, Renee Foosaner Education Center and Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.”
For more about the Foosaner Art Museum and the Renee Foosaner Education Center, visit https://foosanerartmuseum.org/. Visit http://textiles.fit.edu/ for more on the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts. Learn more about KultureCity at www.kulturecity.org.