Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation (CCPR) has four core values. Inclusion is one of them! One way that we practice inclusivity is through our recreation programming. Our adaptive programs are designed for individuals with disabilities. Every season we offer dozens of adaptive programs ranging from sports to wellness to social events.
This fall we are excited to host our very first Sensory-Friendly Trick-or-Treat Walk! We recognize that there are kiddos in our community who may miss out on trick-or-treating because of sensory needs.
We sat down with Michelle Yadon, CCPR’s inclusion supervisor, to discuss our upcoming Sensory-Friendly Trick-or-Treat Walk and learn more about what sensory-friendly events are and why they’re important.
Q: What does sensory-friendly mean?
A: When an event is described as “sensory-friendly,” it means the event is specifically designed for those who might become overwhelmed or overstimulated by their senses, including sight, sound and touch. During sensory-friendly events, the environment is changed and altered so those who need a sensory-friendly environment are comfortable, can participate fully and enjoy their time with family and friends.
Q: Why are sensory-friendly events/programs important?
A: It’s important to us to include everyone in the community so they can participate fully with their friends and family. Often individuals with sensory needs cannot participate in events, like trick-or-treat, because of the stimulation associated with the event. This could be bright lights, scary costumes, large groups of people, etc. Hosting sensory-friendly events is important because CCPR is providing a space for individuals with sensory needs to be able to participate and enjoy events that others in the community enjoy every year.
Q: Who are sensory-friendly events/programs designed for?
A: Sensory-friendly events/programs are designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, sensory sensitivities or other disabilities.
Q: What does a sensory-friendly event/program entail?
A: During these sensory-friendly events/programs guests will enjoy time together with family and friends in inclusive and relaxed spaces. Programs are designed to decrease and limit distractions and sensitivities. Certified Recreational Therapists design and will be present for these events and programs, so you can be sure that these events are truly meeting the needs of our participants.
Q: What should I bring/what will CCPR provide during the Sensory-Friendly Trick-or-Treat Walk?
A: For the Sensory-Friendly Trick-or-Treat Walk, families should bring an item to collect candy in, wear a costume (if they choose), bring any sensory items that the person might need like fidgets, their earphones or toys.
CCPR will provide the candy and the candy will be nut-free.
Every single program CCPR offers is inclusive – that’s right, every single one! If you or your family member would like to participate in a program or use our facility, we try to accommodate every request in order to make modifications to meet your needs. If you have a question about adaptive programming or sensory-friendly events, please email Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pre-registration is required for Sensory-Friendly Trick-or-Treat, click here to register.