Utah Jazz, Vivint Smart Home Arena Obtain Sensory Inclusive Certification
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz and Vivint Smart Home Arena received sensory inclusive certification from KultureCity, a national nonprofit dedicated to “rethinking accessibility to create acceptance and inclusion for individuals with sensory needs.”
The certification was announced on Thursday, April 2, which is also World Autism Awareness Day.
“We appreciate the home arena of the Utah Jazz taking the steps to be sensory inclusive and KultureCity certified,” said Jazz forward and KultureCity board member Joe Ingles. “This is an important movement that not only impacts individuals with autism, but also dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. No doubt, Vivint Smart Home Arena can be loud with our fans, but the presence of a sensory room from Vivint Gives Back and additional tools from KultureCity will help guests better enjoy the experience.”
In 2018, Vivint Smart Home Arena underwent renovations and the Vivint Gives Back Sensory Room was added to the venue. The room was designed to provide “a safe space for guests with intellectual or developmental disabilities.”
The certification “required all arena staff to receive training from leading medical professionals regarding how to recognize guests with sensory needs and handle a sensory overload situation. Guests attending events at Vivint Smart Home Arena now have the option to visit the Vivint Gives Back Sensory Room or borrow sensory bags equipped with noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads for those who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.”
“This certification from KultureCity reaffirms our commitment to better understanding our guests with sensory sensitivities through specific staff training and proper resources,” said the president of Vivint Smart Home Arena John Kimball. “We seek to cultivate an accepting and inclusive environment for individuals with sensory needs so that they can be participants in all events at Vivint Smart Home Arena.”
The NBA and KultureCity first partnered in 2017.
Close To Home For The Ingles Family
For Ingles, his wife Renae and son Jacob, the Stars’ Autism Awareness Night hits close to home.
Jacob was diagnosed with autism last year.
In February 2019, Ingles took to Twitter to share his son’s diagnoses with fans and followers.
“Jacob is still our Jacob, always has been, always will be,” read an image the tweet.
Jacob and his twin sister Mila were born in 2016.
View this post on Instagram
You can read the letter that Ingles and his wife penned about their sons’ diagnosis here.
“When we looked into it, we realized there was a lack of understanding about early detection and how much that can make an impact in a child’s life,” said Joe Ingles in a press release from the team.
“The earlier you find out, the more you can set your child up to have the best life they can have. Jacob’s brought so much joy and light to our lives, and it’s our hope to share that with families who may be going through the same process now.”
Since then, the Ingles, his family, and the Utah Jazz have held events to raise awareness for autism.