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Racine Zoo becomes first in Wisconsin to be certified Sensory Inclusive

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Racine Zoo is now certified sensory inclusive.

KultureCity partnered with the Racine Zoo to make it possible. This new initiative offers sensory bags for free check-out at the gate, designated headphone zones, and quiet zones around the zoo.

Zoo staff was trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognize guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. 

Sensory bags, equipped with noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads will also be available to all guests visiting the zoo who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.

“This is a big step forward for inclusivity in the Racine Zoo. We work hard to make our zoo the best it can be to provide a positive experience for all of our guests, regardless of their background,” commented Beth Heidorn, the Zoo’s Executive Director.

“To know that you soon will be able to visit the zoo, a true community binding experience, with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and who were not able to previously attend, is truly a heartwarming moment. Our communities are what shape our lives and to know that the Racine Zoo is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing,” says Traci Johnson, Executive Director of KultureCity.

The Racine Zoo is the seventh institution accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to receive this certification, and the first in the state of Wisconsin. Prior to the Racine Zoo certification, the closest zoo or aquarium that is certified Sensory Inclusive was the Akron Zoo in
Akron, Ohio.

For more information about the Racine Zoo, click here

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