ASHEBORO, N.C. -- The North Carolina Zoo is now a certified sensory-inclusive venue.
The certification comes after training and added amenities were put in place to help visitors with sensory sensitivities, like autism and post-traumatic stress disorder, enjoy the zoo.
“[Sensory sensitivities] makes it very hard for those families to come out and enjoy places like the zoo,” said Kathy Osborne, who helps visitors in the KidsZone. “The majority of our zoo staff … that may come in contact with our visitors have been through training.”
The certification comes from KultureCity, a worldwide nonprofit started by parents of children with autism.
“We have quiet areas that are marked on the map and signages and sensory bags that are free,” Osborne said.
The bags include items like calming toys and noise-canceling headphones.
“The kids can feel at ease with what they can do here at the zoo, which is what we want,” Osborne said.