Staples Center is offering kits to fans with disabilities to improve the experience at the venue. The Los Angeles arena has created sensory safety kits for individuals affected by autism, PTSD or other sensory-related issues.
Staples Centers’ sensory safety kit, provided by Life is Washable, Inc., includes a pair of noise-reducing earmuffs and earplugs, a pair of anti-glare glasses, a variety of sensory “fidget” toys, sanitizing wipes and tissues, a communication card, venue map and event schedule when available.
“It’s a really small change for our venue as whole, but it can make a really big impact for this community,” Staples Center’s Director of Guest Services Amber Watts told Amplify. “Even something as simple as earmuffs and sunglasses can change their experience here. Some of our games and events can get really loud and just reducing that can change the experience that they have so that they don’t feel like they have to leave or can’t come at all.”
Also available in the kits are identification wristbands that can note a family’s location and has contact information in case of confusion or separation. The kit, placed in personal drawstring bags, also has stickers that alert other attendees that an individual may have some difficulty.
Sensory safety kits will be available during all events at Staples Center and are complimentary for guests.
“In addition to that, it’s not just a kit that we are offering,” said Danielle Edouarde, STAPLES Center Vice President, Guest Services & Security. “We are also training our staff and all of our guests services and security teams. We’ve passed the information along to our food and beverage providers and housekeeping so that everyone is aware that we offer these kits. And once these guests pick up these kits, our staff is trained to assist with further support.”
Staples Center explained that, while they had earplugs and other amenities for guests with special needs, these kits and training have made them more of a sensory accessible facility.
“We’ve had individuals reach out to us, either in-person at our events or through our guest services,” said Edouarde. “We’ve also seen the need during concerts and special events where parents have requested these things for their children possibly with Autism or military members dealing with PTSD that might need some quiet space away from strobes and pyrotechnics or a lot of loud noises. We listen to our guests. We listen to what they are telling us they need. If we have one or two or a handful of people telling us this, then we know that there are a lot more out there.”
The arena has said the feedback to the offerings has been entirely positive so far and plans to use Staples Center as a pilot for the L.A. Live campus. While staff will be trained to offer the kits, Staples is also informing guests via internal television feeds, their website and social media.
For more information on the sensory safety kits, head to the Staples Center site.