Birmingham convention center unveils sensory room
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Elise Anzaldua
Anyone who needs a quiet spot to take a break in during major events at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex now has a place they can go thanks to a local organization.
Birmingham-based nonprofit KultureCity installed its latest sensory room inside the BJCC’s Legacy Arena, which features soft lighting, plush carpet, seating and sensory activities those visiting the room can touch and play with to help them recover from the overwhelming sights, sounds and crowds elsewhere in the building.
Diane Knight, who is the parent of an autistic child, said sensory rooms like these make life a lot more navigable.
“If Jack gets too overloaded, like at an airport, we come to the sensory room and he can look at the bubble walls or kind of soak himself into one of the chairs and just calm himself down,” Knight said.
KultureCity has created six sensory rooms across Birmingham and the U.S. in their quest to help families find a safe place when someone gets overwhelmed. Many other locations have sensory bags families can check out, offering noise-canceling ear protection and fidget toys for children and adults.
KultureCity board member Michele Kong said these sensory rooms make spaces more inclusive for anyone with special needs.
“To be able to have this room here within this facility I think speaks volumes, because it says that the city’s behind this mission of inclusion and the community is behind it,” Kong said.
KultureCity will continue building more sensory rooms around Birmingham and surrounding areas, Kong said.