Chicago (CBS) — The United Center announced Wednesday that it has been certified “sensory inclusive” by KultureCity, a nonprofit that advocates for those with sensory needs.
The center is now the first sports or entertainment venue in Chicago with the certification, which makes the building and its events more accessible to people with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions.
“It is truly a heartwarming moment to know that you will be able to see families attend a basketball or hockey game, a true community binding experience, with their loved ones who have a sensory challenge and were not able to previously attend,” said Traci Johnson, the executive director of KultureCity.
United Center staff, as well as Blackhawks and Bulls front office staff, have been trained on how to recognize and assist guests with sensory needs. Sensory bags that include noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads will be available for guests at Guest Relations Booths. A designated quiet room will also be available to guests.
“As we continue to evolve the building and its experiences, our guests and their safety are always top priority. Becoming certified is one major step in our efforts to continually elevate the guest experience,” said Joe Myhra, senior vice president of operations and administration at the United Center.