YORK, Pa. — WellSpan Park, home of the York Revolution, just became more accessible to people with sensory needs.
Owners and staff worked with nonprofit KultureCity to create safe areas, develop sensory-friendly tools and train employees on how to recognize those guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. As part of the certification requirement, leading medical professionals will retrain staff annually.
Individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD, and other similar conditions often experience sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which can be a major part of the environment at a location like WellSpan Park.
“In striving to be the most welcoming place in York, we recognized that there is a portion of our community for whom the usual sights and sounds of the ballpark may not always be welcoming,” said York Revolution president Eric Menzer. “With the help of the experts at KultureCity, we have learned how to recognize our neighbors with these concerns and provide them with the resources that enable them to enjoy their visit to our facility.”
All guests at the ballpark will have access to KultureCity Sensory Bags at the Shipley Energy Ticket Office. These bags are equipped with noise-canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, verbal cue cards and KCVIP lanyards for people who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.
Prior to their visit to WellSpan Park, families and individuals can also download the free KultureCity app, where one can view what sensory features are available and where to access them, including Quiet Areas, where to get a KultureCity Sensory Bag and where the Headphone Zones are. The app also features the Social Story, which provides a customized visual preview of what to expect while enjoying a visit to WellSpan Park.
WellSpan Park's Sensory Inclusive designation makes the field the only Atlantic League of Professional Baseball ballpark to be certified as such by KultureCity.
“Our communities shape our lives, and to know that WellSpan Park is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in community experiences is amazing,” said Uma Srivastava, executive director, KultureCity. “We’re honored to partner with the York Revolution and WellSpan Park to provide a truly inclusive experience for all guests!”
Since the program’s inception, KultureCity has created over 1,000 Sensory Inclusive public and private services, organizations, events and venues in six countries, including special events such as the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB World Series and MLB All-Star Weekend.