Seeing a professional hockey game is a rite of passage for any Canadian. Unfortunately, for those living with Autism the large crowds and sensory concerns can be too much to bear. This week Vancouver Canucks Sports and Entertainment announced a new initiative that will hopefully bring peace of mind to those living with Autism.
The Vancouver Canucks and the Canucks Autism Network are giving Rogers Arena a bit of an overhaul to foster autism accessibility. This initiative will make Rogers Arena the first “Autism Aware” NHL complex in Canada.
“Starting April 3rd, we are excited to announce that through our partnership with the Canucks Autism Network, Rogers Arena will have increased measures to support our guests with sensory needs and can provide more options when they feel overwhelmed by the environment during Canucks games, concerts and events,” said COO of Canucks Sports & Entertainment Jeff Stipec.
Rogers Arena now offers these resources for guests living with Autism:
- Sensory Kits will be available for guests which includes noise-blocking earphones, a sensory toy, an ID bracelet, a visual storybook, an arena map, and a game-night timeline.
- Over 50 event staff members have gone through a training program with Canucks Autism Network to learn how to recognize, communicate, and interact with those on the spectrum.
- The Fan Text Service is now set up to dispatch these trained individuals to provide support where needed.
- A separate quiet room is available by request and based on availability.
- Visual and video storybooks are available to help prepare fans with Autism on what to expect while attending a game at Rogers Arena.
“It is through these procedures that we can continue to elevate the fan experience and offer an inclusive, accessible, safe and fun environment for all of our guests at Rogers Arena,” added Stipec.