July 23, 2018

Vulcan Park and Museum receives Sensory Inclusive Certification

Kickoff event scheduled July 28 with KultureCity

Birmingham, Ala. –  Vulcan Park and Museum is pleased to announce its partnership with KultureCity to become a Sensory Inclusive site with a kickoff scheduled Sat., July 28 at 8:30am.

This new initiative will allow VPM to provide a more accommodating and positive experience for all including those with sensory issues.

The certification process required the entire VPM staff to be trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognize visitors with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads will also be available at both the ticket booth or information desk inside the Visitors Center. Signage will be posted across the area to alert visitors to quiet areas throughout.

Jennifer Watts, Director of Museum Programs for Vulcan Park and Museum is proud that this sensory inclusivity initiative will ensure more members of the community will have access to the great things the park has to offer.

“We are grateful to KultureCity for showing us how to better serve Birmingham and its metro area through sensory inclusivity,” Watts said.  “Vulcan was created over 100 years ago as a symbol to inspire all of Birmingham’s residents, and we are always striving to make sure that the statue of Vulcan, the greenspace and breathtaking views in the park, and the historical stories in the museum are accessible to anyone who wishes to experience them.”

KultureCity, an area nonprofit changing communities nationwide for those with sensory needs. Vulcan Park and Museum is the first historical site to be added to expansive list of inclusive venues and events such as the the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, 16 NBA arenas, 5 NFL stadiums, 5 NHL arenas, Sloss Fest and countless zoos, science centers and aquariums.

Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which is a part of the environment in a venue like the Vulcan Park.  With VPM’s new certification, they are now better prepared to assist visitors with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible.

Watts looks forward to working with VPM’s education team to extend sensory inclusivity to other programming for families and for schools in the coming months.

Traci Johnson, Executive Director of KultureCity said that being able to see families attend event and places with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and who were not able to previously attend, is truly a heartwarming experience.

“Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that the Vulcan Park and Museum is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.” Johnson said.

For this kickoff event, the park including the museum, The Anvil and observatory will have special hours and open at 8:30am to accommodate earlier visitors.

The morning will begin with a ribbon cutting ceremony followed with breakfast catered by Sonic, school supply giveaways and a fun time exploring the new sensory inclusive park and museum. All visitors are encouraged to pre-register on the Eventbrite page for this free event.

About Vulcan® Park and Museum

Vulcan Park Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization which operates Vulcan Park and Museum on behalf of the City of Birmingham. Vulcan Park and Museum’s mission is to preserve and promote Vulcan as the symbol for the Birmingham region, advance knowledge and understanding of Birmingham’s history and culture, and to encourage exploration of the region.