submitted by Emily N. Hatfield, Visit Pittsburgh
Embracing Accessibility: The David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC) has partnered with KultureCity® to make this location and all its programs and events Sensory Inclusive™. This new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests with sensory issues, regardless of their age or ability.
The certification process ensures that the staff at the DLCC are trained annually by leading medical professionals on how to recognize guests with sensory needs and how to handle sensory overload situations. KultureCity® Sensory Bags, equipped with noise-canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and KCVIP lanyards, will be available to all guests at the DLCC who may feel overwhelmed by this new environment. A Quiet Room is available, located on Level 2, Concourse A of our venue, and can be accessed by connecting with our Security Staff. Headphone Zones are marked in areas of heightened noise potential in the venue.
Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD, and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to overstimulation and noise, which can be a significant part of the environment at a location like the DLCC. With its new certification, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible.
Before their visit, families and individuals can download the free KultureCity® App, where they can view what sensory features are available and where they can access them, including Quiet Areas, where to get a KultureCity® Sensory Bag, and where the Headphone Zones are located, among other features. Also, on the app is the Social Story, which provides a customized visual preview of what to expect while enjoying a visit to DLCC.
The David L. Lawrence Convention Center is honored to partner with KultureCity, ensuring a welcoming, safe, and positive environment for all those who visit, whether for a business meeting, trade show, or special event. We’re proud to be the first KultureCity®-certified Sensory Inclusive Convention Center in the state of Pennsylvania. – Tim Muldoon, General Manager, David L. Lawrence Convention Center
KultureCity® is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using its resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs, not just those with autism. Since the program’s inception, KultureCity® has created over 1,000 Sensory Inclusive™ public and private services, organizations, events, and venues in 6 countries, including special events such as the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB World Series, and MLB All-Star Weekend.
KultureCity® has won many awards for its efforts, including the NASCAR Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2017 and the 2018 Clio Sports Silver for social good in partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers/Quicken Loans Arena. The Cleveland Cavaliers ’Quiet Space Sensory Room at Quicken Loans Arena was a finalist for the 2018 Stadium Business Award. KultureCity® was named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019 and 2020 by FastCompany and recently won the Industry Partner Award in TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Awards 2019.
About the David L. Lawrence Convention Center: Pittsburgh’s environmentally smart, LEED® Gold Certified David L. Lawrence Convention Center, owned by the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Allegheny County, is a 1.5 million-square-foot facility featuring 313,000 square feet of exhibit space, 37 loading docks, 53 meeting rooms, and a 31,000-square-foot ballroom. The building’s dynamic architectural design sets it apart from other convention centers, offering breathtaking views, open terraces, and a suspended roof structure.
About LEED®: LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. The six major environmental categories of review include: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category.