"This certification is an important step in our recognition of our neurodiverse visitors as we create a great experience for everyone!"
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Louisville Zoo
Credit: Thomas Kelley/Getty Images

The Louisville Zoo is now certified as being sensory inclusive!

That means staff at the Kentucky zoo have been trained by medical professionals to recognize visitors with sensory needs, as well as how to handle situations where they might be feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated.

"The latest US Census data shows that one in six people have a sensory need or an invisible disability such as autism, dementia, PTSD, or hearing or vision loss. People with invisible disabilities tend to react differently and get overwhelmed more easily than neurotypical individuals due to various sensory sensitivities," the zoo's website explains. "With this in mind, the Louisville Zoo has partnered with KultureCity and are now certified and equipped with special tools to help better serve our guests with sensory needs."

The zoo has put up signage to identify noisy areas and quiet areas where people can take a break to calm themselves and gather their bearings. Free sensory bags designed for both adults and children with sensory needs are also available for checkout. The bags are filled with items that can help lessen sensory overload, including fidget items, noise-reducing headphones, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads.

"We are proud to have earned this sensory inclusive certification through KultureCity," Louisville Zoo Director Dan Maloney said in a statement. "Our dedicated team is determined to make the Louisville Zoo the safest, most inclusive, most engaging place for all of our guests to enjoy and learn about the amazing animals that share our wonderful world. This certification is an important step in our recognition of our neurodiverse visitors as we create a great experience for everyone!"

For more information visit louisvillezoo.org/kulturecity.