John Ball Zoo and Grand Rapids Public Museum are making their sites, programs and events sensory inclusive.

John Ball Zoo and Grand Rapid Public Museum will each earn certifications for the change. The certification comes through a partnership with KultureCity.

Staff at John Ball Zoo and Grand Rapids Public Museum will now be trained how to recognize guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads will be available to guests who may feel overwhelmed.

Sensory bags are available at Grand Rapids Public Museum starting this month and at John Ball Zoo starting in May. The KultureCity app will give visitors a better idea of the sensory inclusive features that are available at each site and where they can be accessed.

Sensory sensitivities can be experienced by people with autism, dementia, PTSD, Tourette Syndrome and other conditions.

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