WABASH — The Honeywell Foundation, in collaboration with AWS Foundation, will provide sensory friendly kits at events, available to individuals of all ages with sensory needs.
The kits are designed to support individuals and families when attending events where loud noises, bright lights and unfamiliar surroundings can make it difficult to enjoy the experience. Sensory friendly kits are available to check out on request and are recycled for use by others at future events.
“Every member of our community should have equal opportunity to enjoy the many wonderful events and venues Fort Wayne has to offer,” said Tom O’Neill, AWS Foundation Board Chair. “For this to happen, individuals with sensory challenges need a variety of adaptive tools to help with loud noises, bright lights and close spaces. The goal of this sensory friendly kit is to provide much needed support to individuals and families so they can have the best possible experience when attending an event.”
“AWS Foundation has developed these sensory friendly kits to advance efforts to be a fully inclusive community,” said Patti Hays, CEO of AWS Foundation. “While each partner venue is ‘ADA compliant,’ it’s important to recognize that many disabilities do not affect physical access or mobility. To be inclusive and fully accessible, adaptive tools to support sensory needs are necessary.”
Sensory friendly kits are available now at the Honeywell Center Box Office. Inquire at the box office to check out a kit. AWS Foundations sees this ongoing problem as another opportunity to address unmet needs of individuals with disabilities in the community and hopes that participation will spread to other venues throughout the area.
“We are excited to have this resource available to our patrons,” said Cathy Gatchel, Vice President of Development and Marketing. “We pride ourselves in being able to accommodate as many attendee needs as possible and this will be an important addition to what we’re able to offer, thanks to the generosity of AWS Foundation.”
Sensory friendly kits contain noise reducing headphones, several small fidget items, a communications deck, identification wristband, a weighted comfort item, and sanitizing wipes. Each item was chosen to answer needs identified by individuals and families when attending an event in a public venue.
Guests can visit the box office to check out a sensory kit by providing a driver’s license, which will then be held while the kit is in use. Guests themselves can return the kits to the box office or be assisted by an usher.