Nashville Predators team up to make hockey games more inclusive with sensory bags

Posted at 8:26 PM, Sep 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-20 21:26:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — The Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena are officially Certified Sensory Inclusive by KultureCity! They teamed with the Birmingham non profit to find ways to make their venues more inclusive.

The partnership is to improve staff member's ability to assist and accommodate guests with sensory needs to provide an inclusive and seamless experience for all guests at all events.

In a press release, The Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena said sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions that's why Arena will hand out sesnory bags to those who need one.

Inside the bags, include noise canceling headphones, different types of fidgets, a visual feeling thermometer and a lap pad to help individuals sit with their vestibular balance.

"One in five individuals has a sensory need so not only is it children with Autism but it's adults with Autism, Down Syndrome, PTSD," said Uma Srivastava, with KultureCity!

The bag are available for checkout at no cost by leaving an ID at the AT&T Fan Information Center located off the main concourse and near the entrance to Lexus Lounge.

Courtney Pirtle, a mother of an autistic son says this is a great idea.

"It's incredible, the awareness is definitely in full swing now and we love it," she said. "My autistic son is 19, so that was not the case when he was little, things have gone a long way."

Bridgestone Arena staff all had to go through sensory inclusive training. That’s about a 30-minute training where they talk about what is a sensory need, who might have a sensory need and what to do in case of an overload.

KultureCity is now working with staff at TPAC in efforts to do something similar.