Cosley Zoo is officially a great place to visit for people with sensory issues.
KultureCity, a nonprofit working to create sensory inclusive venues around the world, partnered with Cosley Zoo to help it make the zoo, its programs and all of its events sensory inclusive. It is the first venue in DuPage County to receive the sensory inclusive designation.
As part of the process, zoo staff trained to recognize guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. In addition, weighted lap pads and sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools and verbal cue cards, are now available.
Prior to visiting the zoo, families also can download the free KultureCity app where they see the sensory features available and where to find them at the zoo. The zoo’s Social Story, showing a preview of what to expect while visiting the zoo, also is available on the app.
Cosley Zoo in Wheaton is a five-acre zoo featuring farm animals and wildlife native to Illinois. It is part of the Wheaton Park District.
“To know that you soon will be able to see families visit the zoo, a true community binding experience, with their loved ones who have sensory challenges and who were not able to previously attend, is truly a heartwarming moment,” said Dr. Julian Maha, co-founder of KultureCity, said in a news release. “Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that Cosley Zoo is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing”
KultureCity has created more than 200 sensory inclusive venues in three countries.
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