Austin FC announced today that the club has partnered with Founding Partner St. David’s HealthCare and national non-profit organization KultureCity to unveil a new sensory inclusive room at Q2 Stadium, making match days and events at the venue more accommodating for all fans.
“Soccer is a game for everyone, and we strive for Q2 Stadium to be an inclusive venue for all of Austin,” said Kaitlin Swarts, Vice President of Community Impact. “Austin FC is proud to have teamed up with St. David’s HealthCare and KultureCity to create a space that will ensure our fans with sensory needs can enjoy a match at at Q2 Stadium.”
KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using its resources to create positive change for those with sensory needs, not just those with autism. Since the program’s inception, KultureCity has created over 700 sensory-inclusive venues in 4 countries, including special events such as the NFL Pro Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB World Series and MLB All Star Weekend.
“Our communities are what shape our lives and to know that Austin FC is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing,” said KultureCity Executive Director Uma Srivastava. “We’re honored to partner with the club to provide a truly inclusive experience for all fans.”
Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. A major barrier for these individuals is sensitivity to noise, a hallmark of the environment at Q2 Stadium.
Staff in Q2 Stadium’s sensory inclusive room have been trained by medical professionals on how to recognize fans with sensory needs, and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags equipped with noise-canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads will be available to all fans in the sensory room who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.
Prior to attending an event, families can download the free KultureCity App where one can view what sensory features are available and where they can access them.