The Birmingham Zoo has partnered with KultureCity to develop the Sensory Inclusive Zoo Initiative to improve our capacity to serve guests with sensory processing needs.
As a result, the Zoo has been designated a “sensory inclusive facility.” The goals of this initiative are to:
Raise Awareness of challenges facing people with sensory processing needs among Zoo staff and throughout the community
Increase accessibility throughout the Zoo grounds for guests with sensory processing needs
Promote inclusive experiences for guests with sensory processing needs
Weighted Lap Pads
At attractions which may require guests to remain seated for an extended time, the Zoo offers weighted lap pads to assist individuals with sensory sensitivities. These lap pads are available upon request at the following locations:
Red Diamond Sea Lion Splash Show
Sensory Bags containing noise canceling headphones, fidget toolsand other resources are available for checkout with a held photo ID in the Zoo Membership Office.
The Zoo has designated Quiet Zones throughout the Zoo grounds. These areas typically have less activity and spaces to sit and regroup after becoming overstimulated. Quiet Zones are in the following locations:
Bird Aviary and Kori Country
Primates/South America Building Nursing Rooms
Rear Rhinoceros Habitat
Trails of Africa near Zebra Habitat
We have identified noisier spaces as Headphone Zones.
These areas include:
Primate/South America Building
Nourish 205 and Wild Burger Cafes
Main Entrance Restrooms
The Sensory Room, located near the restrooms at the main entrance, is designed to provide a safe, calming, sensory-supportive environment to facilitate self-regulation for guests who are feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated.
The Zoo Map identifies Quit Zones, Headphone Zones, Sensory Room, family restrooms and areas where weighted lap pads are available for your convenience.
To view the Zoo Map, please click image orclick here.
Click here or click image for the social story to assist with your Zoo visit.
The most powerful aspect of the Sensory Inclusive Zoo Initiative is the continued staff training. All Zoo staff participate in training sessions designed to raise their awareness of sensory processing needs, inform them about the services provided through the Sensory Inclusive Zoo Initiative and discuss strategies that they can implement in their daily work to help the Birmingham Zoo reach its goal to be Sensory Inclusive.
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