With reduced volume, dimmed lighting and the removal of flashing lights, Shedd Aquarium‘s newest aquatic attraction has accessibility in mind.
Shedd will launch low-sensory aquatic presentations beginning Dec. 12 at 3:30 p.m. every Thursday and as the last presentation on the last Sunday of each month. The presenters will also encourage the use of “jazz hands” in lieu of clapping, the aquarium said in a release.
“Shedd’s aquatic presentations are one of the greatest highlights of a visit to the aquarium for many of our guests,” said Lynn Walsh, manager of accessibility and inclusion at Shedd Aquarium in the release to the media. “So, we worked diligently with teams across the aquarium, from marine mammal trainers to presenters, as well as members of the autism community to make the modifications to ensure there’s a comfortable and accepting environment for all our guests to join us for this experience.”
The low-sensory shows won’t lose the animal fun, with highlights of Pacific white-sided dolphins, beluga whales and a changing lineup of other favorite animals still taking the spotlight. Tickets to the sensory-friendly shows are free with admission to the aquarium.
Shedd also offers a Sensory Friendly App that is free on iTunes or Google Play that can help lead guests around the aquarium, including ticket purchases, what the seating looks like, presentation lengths and warnings about lightings and visuals.
Visitors to Shedd can take a sneak peek at the aquarium’s website to pre-plan accessibility options or find out more information before downloading the app.
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