Taco Bell Arena has announced a milestone for autism and dementia sufferers attending live events after becoming the first Certified Sensory Inclusive College Arena in the US.

The venue, which is the 13,000-capacity home of the Boise State University Broncos and Boise State University in Idaho, aims to provide a positive experience for all guests and fans with a sensory need.

Taco Bell Arena is now equipped with 50 sensory bags that contain a variety of items that can help an individual who is experiencing sensory overload during an event. Each bag is equipped with noise cancelling headphones, a variety of fidget tools, verbal cue card, and a weighted lap pad.

Taco Bell Arena worked with KultureCity, a non-profit that is committed to spreading awareness for sensory sensitivity for those with autism, dementia, PTSD, or other like conditions. These individuals may find a live event to be too stimulating, and these tools within the Sensory Bag may assist those individuals in such circumstances.

“Being able to witness a large university make such an important and monumental change to its culture and community, in order to improve the lives of each of their community members, no matter their ability, is truly astonishing,” said Traci Johnson, executive director at KultureCity.

“Knowing that Boise State University is the first university to have an arena that is sensory inclusive leads the movement in higher education becoming inclusive for all.”

KultureCity has created several sensory inclusive venues and events, including the NFL Super Bowl, NFL Pro-Bowl, about 19 NBA arenas, a growing number of NFL and MLB stadiums, as well as public facilities like zoos, science centres and aquariums across the nation.

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 by noise, sound or crowded environments.

“Because these stimuli are so prevalent at live events, it is extremely important to be able to mitigate some of the impact for sensory-sensitive guests” said a Taco Bell Arena spokesperson.

Image: Larry D. Moore