KultureCity has partnered with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust to make Jersey Zoo and all the events that the venue hosts sensory inclusive, making the zoo the first ever in the UK and Europe to achieve this certification.
The certification process entailed the staff at Jersey Zoo being trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognise those guests with sensory needs and how to manage a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags, equipped with noise-cancelling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads will also be available to all guests at the zoo who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.
Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions (one in six individuals). One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to overstimulation and noise, which can be a big part of the environment in a venue like Jersey Zoo. With its new certification, the zoo is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible when visiting the zoo.
“Here at Jersey Zoo, we are really excited to be launching this brand-new initiative for some of our guests. At the zoo, our aim is to not only care for our animals and save species from extinction, but to connect people with nature, and that’s really important for us at all levels in our community. There are some people who do not wish to visit the zoo because they may not feel it’s a safe space or they may have difficulties connecting with our mission and the work that we do, so having KultureCity here allows our guests with sensory differences to have an additional comfort blanket and make Jersey Zoo a really safe and secure place for them to visit,” said Graeme Dick, Director of Zoo Operations.