INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Lucas Oil Stadium is bringing inclusion to people with autism and those with sensory issues.
The venue has had 20 sensory kits available since February 2020. Guests are currently using them during the March Madness Tournament.
Each sensory kit brings a calming effect for people who experience sensory overload.
It can benefit anyone whether it’s a child, an adult or a veteran suffering from PTSD. Sensory kits include a communication card for people who are nonverbal, a weighted blanket or fidget tools that are used to help ease moments of sensory overload. Visitors can ask a guest services representative to receive one.
Lucas Oil Stadium director Eric Neuburger told News 8 that all staff went through sensory training to help identify people who might be experiencing sensory overload and to help communicate with them.
“It’s really two parts. The one part was to make sure that everybody was trained, that everybody that works at the building is trained to make sure that we’re welcoming to all and then the other is these kits which is just another tool in our tool belt to make people can enjoy events at Lucas Oil Stadium,” Neuburger said.
There’s also a sensory room inside the stadium that provides a quiet space for guests who need a break from loud noise or flashing lights.
“It was the first Big Ten tournament to ever be help in a sensory inclusive location and have all the games at a sensory inclusive location at Lucas Oil,” said Indianapolis City-County councilor, Ali Brown. “It’s just a really great thing that they’ve got.”
Brown is also the founder of the Indy Autism Project. She said the first phase of the project is to work with people who are neurotypical and deal with sensory issues to make them feel safe and inclusive.
The first phase also includes sensory training to the Indianapolis Police Department, IndyGo, Workforce Development, parks and recreation and the entire hospitality industry.