The Philadelphia Phillies and KultureCity, the nation’s leading nonprofit on sensory accessibility and acceptance for those with invisible disabilities, are bringing a new sensory activation vehicle (S.A.V.) experience to Citizens Bank Park – and it could be a game changer for fans with sensory processing disorders.
Created by KultureCity and designed by medical professionals, this unique mobile experience allows the Phillies to have a dedicated room and play space for individuals with sensory processing sensitivities who may need a quieter and more secure environment while attending games at the ballpark.
“It is our goal to provide a safe space for those individuals who may have invisible disabilities and need sensory relief while at the ballpark,” said Phillies Director of Facility Operations Ed Speer. “We look forward to bringing this one-of-a-kind mobile sensory activation experience to the ballpark with KultureCity, which has been a tremendous partner in helping us make Citizens Bank Park even more inclusive for our fans.”
“Our communities shape our lives and to know that the Phillies are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing. We’re honored to partner to provide a truly inclusive experience for all fans and guests,” said KultureCity Executive Director Uma Srivastava.
Inside the S.A.V. is a sensory room outfitted with bean bags from Yogibo and visual light panels by Nanoleaf, as well as activity panels and bubble walls. The space can be used by one family/group/individual at a time when they need to step away to decompress, enabling families to take a quick break if needed before going back to enjoying the ballgame.
The sensory activation experience is located at the First Base Plaza. Since it is mobile, the vehicle will also have the ability to be transported to other parts of the ballpark and off-site locations.
The experience is part of KultureCity’s sensory inclusive program, designed to “Make the Nevers Possible” and help guests with sensory needs like PTSD, autism, dementia and strokes, just to name a few, feel welcomed. With one out of six individuals in the United States having a sensory processing disorder, the need for sensory refuge is greater than ever.
As part of the program, fans will also have access to sensory bags at Guest Services (both on the Main Concourse and Terrace Level). Designed to help sensory needs in both adults and children, the sensory bags are filled with items that can help lessen sensory overload and include headphones, various fidget toys and visual feeling and “I need” cue cards. Included with the sensory bags will be a lanyard with a QR code, providing easy access to the KultureCity website, which will have downloadable and customized social stories for visiting Citizens Bank Park. Also available will be a weighted laptop, which can be drawn on with a water pen.
In addition, Phillies front office and gameday staff received online training on how to help fans who may have sensory needs. KultureCity decals and other signage will also be located throughout the ballpark on ticket windows and in elevator lobbies, helping with awareness about the KultureCity initiative.