In recent years more and more people have become aware of sensory overload in which one or more of the body’s senses experiences over-stimulation from the environment. It can be triggered by a loud party, flashing lights or a crowded room. While it is largely associated with certain health conditions like autism and PTSD, it can actually happen to anyone. The results range from stress, difficulty to focus, the urge to shy away from the source to what appears to be a temper tantrum.
For this reason, people are often hesitant to venture into possible situations that might set off the condition.
Wanting to provide a positive experience for those suffering from sensory overload, the Nasher Sculpture Center became proactive by partnering up with KultureCity to “ensure that the programs and events that the Nasher hosts will be sensory inclusive.”
According to Nasher Manager of Tour and Access Programs Lynda Wilbur, “The Nasher wants all of our visitors to feel welcome, and this partnership with KultureCity provides important tools for us to support and engage our public.”
But to achieve success a certification process was undertaken for the Nasher staff to “be trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognize those guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation.”
In addition to having a “dedicated sensory room for those who may need a quieter and more secure environment,” the Nasher had sensory bags equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads.
Guests are encouraged to download the free KultureCity app that includes information about the available sensory features and the “Social Story, a preview ow what to expect while enjoying an event at the museum.”
KultureCity Co-Founder Dr. Julian Maha summed up the partnership this way, “To see families attend an important art museum with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge, and who may previously have found it difficult to attend, is truly a heartwarming moment. Our communities are what shape our lives, and to know that the Nasher Sculpture Center is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.”