New Sensory Room Unveiled at BHM Airport
Birmingham, AL – The Birmingham Airport Authority held a ribbon cutting ceremony with KultureCity on Friday, February 15, 2019 to commemorate the opening of the sensory inclusive room at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM).
Located post-security on Concourse B, the unique space features soft lighting from a bubbling water wall, touchable activity panels and multi-textural elements for anxiety reduction, and comfortable bean bag chairs. BHM will be the second U.S. airport to have a sensory room but the first U.S. airport to have a true sensory inclusive room designed for use by multiple members of the community (individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions).
The sensory room was developed out of KultureCity’s Sensory Inclusive program allows individuals with autism and other sensory needs the ability to see and experience all the things the world has to offer. It also helps public places better entertain guests that might have sensory needs or sensory processing issues and often find themselves isolated from the community and limited on where they can go. Because airports can be overwhelming to individuals with a sensory need or sensory processing issue, having a sensory room allows for a quiet and secure place with special features to allow individuals to take a break and calm down from overstimulation caused by crowds, harsh lights, smells and loud noises.
“We know that air travel can often be a stressful and overwhelming experience for individuals with autism or other sensory sensitivities,” said Sylvester Lavender, Birmingham Airport Authority’s Interim President and CEO. “The opening of our Sensory Room is one of the ways we’re showing our commitment to all passengers by making time spent at BHM an easy, convenient, comfortable, and calming experience. We hope this new room will aid in breaking down the barriers that can prevent families from flying.”
“In working with KultureCity to create the world’s first sensory inclusive room in a domestic terminal at an airport, the Birmingham Airport has taken a stand to create a travel experience for ALL individuals regardless of their unique abilities,” said Dr. Julian Maha, Founder of KultureCity. “This ensures that everyone can have an inclusive travel experience. What better city to do this in than the city where civil rights was born? Thank you, Birmingham Airport, and all involved for recognizing this need and making this a reality.”