Two Organizations Making Milwaukee More Sensory-Inclusive
By Maurice Hughes
April 11, 2023
This month, we’d like to highlight Autism Acceptance Month and two organizations working to make the world more sensory-inclusive.
Autism affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave. 1 in 6 individuals has a sensory need or an invisible disability. Sensory needs are a common medical condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses.
The role of inclusion means creating environments and programs for neurodiverse individuals. Here are a few ways that Autism Acceptance Month and sensory inclusion are being celebrated across the area.
Milwaukee Bucks & Fiserv Forum
Earlier this month, the Milwaukee Bucks held an Autism Acceptance Night on Sunday, April 2 on World Autism Awareness Day. Throughout the game, the Fiserv Forum featured things to make the event more sensory-inclusive from no strobe lights to the in-game hosts offering a warning to potentially triggering elements.
Did you know that Fiserv Forum has permanently added two sensory rooms for guests with sensory processing needs? These dedicated sensory rooms are available during all events and feature a quieter room with comfortable chairs, soothing paint, and tactile wall hangings. The arena also offers complimentary sensory bags with helpful tools, such as noise-canceling headphones. Many of Fiserv Forum’s staff members have been trained on how to recognize and assist fans with sensory needs.
Fiserv Forum’s sensory-inclusive program has become the first sports and entertainment venue in Wisconsin to be certified as sensory-inclusive by KultureCity — the nation’s leading nonprofit on sensory accessibility and acceptance for those with invisible disabilities.
Islands of Brilliance
Islands of Brilliance serves a special place in the Milwaukee area as a creative learning experience developed specifically for children and young adults on the autism spectrum. April, as they call it at IOB, is Autism Action Month which they intend to spread awareness of the challenges autistic students face on a daily basis.
Rather than expecting students to adapt to the environment, IOB has created the ideal environment using project-based learning. IOB allows students to grow their capabilities, increasing their likelihood of independence as adults.
Building independence changes self-perceptions of ability and expectations of what is possible. At Islands of Brilliance, students’ brilliance becomes unlocked. Photo Credit: Islands of Brilliance
IOB uses art and creative technologies to develop self-confidence, self-advocacy, and independence. Young autistic individuals now have a place to build pathways to employment. For those of you in the marketing world, you can become a mentor at IOB. If you are proficient in any of the Adobe Creative programs, and if you love to collaborate and share your passion for design, you are welcome to get involved! Check out these 1:1 Mentoring Sessions! IOB also has an incredible wealth of programming for neurodiverse individuals.
Here are a few IOB April events
For a full list of events that Islands of Brilliance will be holding, please visit this link.
Here at 414digital, we are working to be inclusive. If you are interested in joining our board, check out 414digital Open Board Seats.