Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA basketball team, has been certified as ‘sensory inclusive’ through an innovative new partnership with KultureCity, a non-profit start-up which seeks to create an all-inclusive environment for people with autism.
Under the agreement, a new Quiet Space Sensory Room has been introduced at Quicken Loans Arena. It is said to be the first room of its kind in the NBA. The certification process also includes full- and part-time member sensory awareness training.
The team hopes the new initiative will promote a positive and accommodating experience for all fans and guests with sensory sensitivities, which are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder and other similar conditions.
One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to noise and over-stimulation, which is rife at sports venues such as Quicken Loans Arena. The venue is now better prepared to assist guests with such challenges.
“We have always done our best to assist our guests’ needs at The Q, and now thanks to our partnership with KultureCity, we have elevated our awareness and procedures to a higher level,” Len Komoroski, chief executive of the Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena, said.
“Although we are unable to alter the environment during events, such as noise level, special effects and things of that nature, we can work with our guests to offer them multiple options if and when they feel overwhelmed. Our ultimate goal is to provide those with sensory needs the ability to be part of all the fun The Q has to offer.”
Staff at the arena have been trained by KultureCity to learn how to better interact with guests with sensory sensitivities.
The quiet space will be available to guests upon request. The sensory room features calming paint tones, a textured wall, special seating and privacy away from loud noises and crowds.
Guests may also check-out free sensory bags, which will include fidget toys, weighted lap pads, noise-cancelling headphones and other resources. To provide guests with fresh air when needed, special hole punches will also be provided at all major arena exists.