ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene Zoo is now a certified Sensory Inclusive Zoo in partnership with KultureCity, the nation’s leading nonprofit on sensory accessibility and acceptance for those with invisible disabilities.

In order to become a Sensory Inclusive Zoo, staff were trained by medical professionals on how to recognize those with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. The zoo now offers KultureCity Sensory Bags, which can be found at the gift shop. These bags contain noise-canceling headphones provided by Puro Sound Labs, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and a ‘KCVIP’ lanyard.

Courtesy of the Abilene Zoo

Guests can enhance their experience at the Abilene Zoo by downloading the KultureCity app beforehand. The app provides information on the various sensory features available and how to access them. Additionally, visitors can refer to the Abilene Zoo Social Story for a customized preview of what to expect during their visit.

“Our communities shape our lives, and to know that Abilene Zoo is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in community experiences is amazing. We’re honored to partner with the Abilene Zoo to provide a truly inclusive experience for all clients,” said KultureCity Executive Director Uma Srivastava.

KultureCity has established over 1,000 sensory-inclusive initiatives across six countries, including high-profile events like the NFL Super Bowl and MLB World Series.