From the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens has partnered with KultureCity®, a non-profit organization focused on creating welcoming and inclusive environments for individuals with unique abilities, to become a certified sensory inclusive facility.
During the certification process, Zoo staff and volunteers were trained to recognize guests with sensory needs and how to approach a sensory overload situation. Sensory sensitivities are often experienced by individuals with developmental challenges, autism, PTSD, anxiety, and more. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to overstimulation by large crowds, unfamiliar areas, and loud noises, which can be common in the Zoo environment.
“The opportunity to work with KultureCity® to become a Sensory Inclusive™ Certified facility helps us to fulfill our mission of being a conservation resource providing experiences that excite and inspire children and adults to learn and act on behalf of wildlife,” said Stephanie Williams, Zoo Director. “This certification provides us with the proper tools to allow our guests to see and experience all the Zoo has to offer.”
Sensory bags will be available at the Zoo’s Admissions Window and are equipped with noise-canceling headphones, cue cards, fidget tools, and other resources. These bags are available to borrow, free of charge, for guests with sensory needs.
Signage will be posted throughout the Zoo indicating potentially high-noise areas, as well as designated Quiet Areas for individuals who need to take a break.
Prior to visiting the Zoo, families can download the free KultureCity App to learn more about what sensory features 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 during a visit to the Zoo.
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is home to over 350 animals in Sanford, Florida. As a not-for-profit organization, it is a leader in conservation, providing experiences that excite and inspire actions on behalf of wildlife. More information is available at www.centralfloridazoo.org.
Seminole Aerial Adventures at the Central Florida Zoo is a self-propelled challenge course for all ages. Woven into the natural forest are three courses designed to test you, physically and mentally. Swing, climb, and balance across dancing logs, tight wires, rope bridges, nets, & exhilarating zip lines. This featured attraction, just before the Zoo’s entrance, gives both nature lovers & challenge seekers the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of adventure in Central Florida. More information is available at www.centralfloridazoo.org/saa.
Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation is a cutting-edge conservation facility dedicated to propagation of and reintroduction of the federally protected eastern indigo snake. More information is available at www.centralfloridazoo.org/about-the-zoo/ocic. 

 

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