November 10, 2017
NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans Pelicans has teamed up with KultureCity to fulfill the needs of fans who have sensory issues. KultureCity is a non-profit organization dedicated to rethinking accessibility to create acceptance and inclusion for all individuals. The certification process includes the New Orleans Pelicans and Smoothie King Center full and part-time team member sensory awareness training, and the implementation of enhanced services that feature sensory bags. The new initiative will promote a positive and accommodating experience for all fans and guests with sensory sensitivities who attend events at the Smoothie King Center.
Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to noise and over stimulation, which is a large part of the environment at a sports and entertainment venue. With its new certification, the Smoothie King Center is now better prepared to assist guests with these challenges to have the most comfortable experience possible when attending any event at the arena.
“We have always done our absolute best to help our guests’ requests at the Smoothie King Center, and now because of KultureCity, we have taken our fan experience to the next level,” said New Orleans Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha. “Not only are we aware of people with sensory issues and their needs, but we are accepting of their needs and through KultureCity, people with sensory issues will now have the best experience possible.”
The Smoothie King Center part-time and full-time staff participated in special training led by KultureCity to learn how to better interact with guests who have sensory sensitivities. The program covered topics such as how to recognize those with sensory needs and strategies for better interaction and communication with sensory sensitive guests.
“We at KultureCity are truly honored to partner with the New Orleans Pelicans and the Smoothie King Center to bring our sensory inclusion initiative to the great city of New Orleans,” said Founder and CEO of KultureCity Julian Maha. “New Orleans has always been a city of inclusion and community, and by being part of this initiative, the Pelicans are embracing all their fans regardless of their sensory needs. This is truly a game changer that will allow all fans to enjoy each and every event at the Smoothie King Center.”
EVERY GUEST, EVERY TIME:
Guided by experts from KultureCity, the Smoothie King Center has implemented the following procedures, guidelines and opportunities to better serve guests with sensory sensitivities attending events:
- DESIGNATED ENTRY GATES: Dedicated entry gates that are located around the Smoothie King Center are less crowded, noisy, and can be used by guests with sensory issues.
- SENSORY BAGS: Guests may checkout Sensory Bags at no cost to utilize fidget toys, weighted lap pads, noise cancelling headphones and other resources during events. Sensory Bags are available at Guest Services booth located at section 108.
- CONCESSIONS: Throughout the Smoothie King Center there are multiple concession stands designated for people with sensory issues. They are located at section 102 and section 331.
- EXIT / RE-ENTRY: For guests with sensory sensitives who need a break, a breath of fresh air can make all the difference. The Smoothie King Center guest services and security staff will provide entry/re-entry at all major arena exits, allowing guests with sensory issues to step outside the arena and then re-enter, if needed.
- DESIGNATED QUIET ROOMS: These rooms will provide a quiet and relaxing space for people with sensory issues. These rooms are located throughout the Smoothie King Center. For more information, please visit any Guest Services location.
Sensory inclusive services at the Smoothie King Center can be provided at any time during any event by visiting the nearest Guest Services or by contacting any nearby guest services representative.
Click here for more information on the New Orleans Pelicans and KultureCity.
KultureCity is the world’s first startup nonprofit with the mission to rethink accessibility to create acceptance and inclusion for individuals of all unique abilities. Founded in 2014, KultureCity’s programs break down the barriers of accessibility and have impacted more than 100,000 individuals throughout the USA.