Pacers Sports & Entertainment announced Friday that Bankers Life Fieldhouse has been certified as a “sensory inclusive” venue for the hundreds of events taking place there each year.
Partnering with New York-based KultureCity, Pacers Sports & Entertainment event staff members have been trained by leading medical professionals in how to recognize guests with sensory needs and, if warranted, provide them with sensory bags. The bags include noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads. They are available to all Fieldhouse guests for games and concerts.
“Our goal is to promote an accommodating and positive experience for everyone who comes to an event at the Fieldhouse,” said Erin Dlouhy, PS&E’s Senior Director of Guest Experience. “Since beginning this program at the start of the Indiana Pacers season, we have provided a significant number of the sensory bags to our guests, including children, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”
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 and noise, which is a significant part of the game or concert experience.
“To be able to see families being able to attend a basketball game, a true community binding experience, with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and who were not able to previously attend, is truly heartwarming,” said Traci Johnson, Executive Director of KultureCity. “Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that Bankers Life Fieldhouse is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.”
KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using their resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs; not just those with autism. In the past year alone, KultureCity has created several sensory inclusive venues and events including the NFL Pro Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, NBA arenas, NFL stadiums, NHL arenas and countless zoos, science centers and aquariums across the nation.
For more information, contact the Pacers Media Relations Department at (317) 917-2500.