Roger Williams Park Zoo takes steps to be more inclusive

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Roger Williams Park Zoo says it’s committed to maintaining diversity at the zoo by announcing a new partnership with KultureCity.

The group out of Birmingham, Alabama works to accommodate those with autism and other special needs. 

The partnership means more sensory-friendly programming and access to things like quiet areas, noise-canceling headphones and fidget toys while walking around the zoo. 

Zoo staff have also received training in order to better support families with children who are on the spectrum.

Tiffany Vitale has 10-year-old twin sons who fall on the spectrum. 

“Sometimes in social situations they have a harder time maybe saying the right thing or doing the right thing; they might start to melt down,” Vitale said. “Knowing that the staff knows how to handle it, to kind of take them away from that…it just makes me feel safe that they know how to do it.”

The zoo says it began working with KultureCity about a year ago.

The group did an audit on the zoo to figure out the ways to bridge the gap. 

Zoo leaders say Roger Williams Park Zoo is one of five nationwide and the first in New England to collaborate with the group.

Click here to learn more about KultureCity’s sensory initiative.

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