Rolling Hills Zoo is now more compatible for guests who are “sensory sensitive”.
According to the zoo, one in six individuals has a sensory need or an invisible disability; including those with PTSD, autism, dementia and stroke, just to name a few. Sensory needs are a common medical condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses. In fact, common sounds, lights, crowds and even certain smells, might not only be overwhelming but also physically painful.
For those guests who are sensory sensitive, Rolling Hills Zoo (RHZ) is now Sensory Inclusive Certified through KultureCity, with all RHZ employees achieving Sensory Inclusive Certification. Upon arrival to the zoo, KultureCity sensory bags can be checked out for free.
Each sensory bag is designed to help with sensory needs in both adults and children, including items that can help lessen sensory overload, such as noise cancelling headphones and fidget toys. Signage has been placed in the zoo and museum for designated Quiet Areas and where guests may experience loud noises or strong smells. A sensory Quiet room, located below Safari Station, is also being created for zoo guests.
KultureCity was founded in 2013 by Julian Maha and his wife Dr. Michele Kong after Maha witnessed his son, who has autism, experiencing a “meltdown” in a barber shop when a stranger yelled at and grabbed him. Maha said after that day he was inspired to try to make public spaces more accessible for those struggling with sensory issues and cofounded KultureCity, which has now established over 900 sensory inclusive spaces in more than five countries. Rolling Hills Zoo is one of only five KultureCity certified locations in Kansas. Anyone wanting to learn more about their visit to Rolling Hills Zoo can go to https://venue.kulturecity.org/venues/rolling-hills-zoo for a detailed look at what you will experienc