Greater Columbus Convention Center Becomes More Inclusive with Sensory Certification
Greater Columbus Convention Center, managed by SMG, is now Certified Sensory Inclusive — the first convention in the convention center to earn this certification.
KultureCity, which issues the certification, is a non-profit organization based in Birmingham, Alabama, that works toward creating sensory-inclusive venues. It’s meant to assist individuals with sensory challenges, such as those with autism, dementia, PTSD and similar health concerns, navigate such venues often affected by excess noise.
Sensory-sensitive guests of the GCCC can now enjoy events in the venue, thanks to this effort to make the convention center more inclusive.
“We are proud to be at the forefront of many innovative programs, and making all of our guests feel welcome, safe and accommodated is at the top of the list,” said Amy Huggins, GCCC’s director of culture and training. “We are especially proud to partner with KultureCity to receive additional training and resources to become a better host to our guests with special sensory needs.”
GCCC staff were trained by medical professionals on how to recognize guests with sensory needs and handle sensory-overload situations, then completed an online quiz to complete the certification.
As part of the effort, GCCC was equipped with sensory bags, which contain KultureCity VIP identification badges, noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads. These are available at two GCCC guest service centers. Quiet zones have been added as a further comfort.
Those hosting an event at GCCC can encourage sensory-sensitive attendees to download the KultureCity mobile app to review the venue’s available features and learn what to expect upon arrival at the convention center.
“To know that families will be able to attend events at the GCCC with their loved ones with sensory challenges is truly a heartwarming moment,” said Dr. Julian Maha, co-founder of KultureCity.
He added, “Our communities are what shape our lives, and to know that the GCCC is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.”
To learn more about GCCC, go here.