Certified Sensory Inclusive

The Buttonwood Park Zoo partnered with KultureCity to make a visit to the Zoo an accommodating and positive experience for guests with sensory issues.

KultureCity certified the Buttonwood Park Zoo as sensory inclusive, through a process that entailed staff training led by leading medical professionals on how to recognize those guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation.

“Families on the Southcoast have been visiting the Zoo and making memories for over 125 years and we are continuously striving to make that experience accessible for all,” said Carrie Hawthorne, the BPZoo’s Education Curator.  “Thanks to this certification, staff is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible while visiting the Zoo.”

Beginning on September 25, 2019, “sensory bags”, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools and verbal cue cards will be available at the North Woods Gift Shop for guests 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 of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which can be part of the environment at the Zoo.


KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using their resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs; not just those with Autism. In the past year alone, KultureCity has created several sensory inclusive venues and events including the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB All Star Weekend, 18 NBA arenas, 6 NFL stadiums, 5 NHL arenas 3 MLB arenas, and countless zoos, science centers and aquariums across the nation.