The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts is continually looking for new opportunities to offer inclusion, compassion, and accessibility in the Arts. We are pleased to announce our recent classification as an Autism Friendly Business by completing training provided by Families for the Effective treatment of Autism (FEAT) of Louisville and the Autism Friendly Community. This initiative focuses on encouraging and training local businesses in Autism Awareness, Acceptance, and Appreciation.
According to Deborah Morton, Executive Director at FEAT of Louisville “it is our goal to create an infrastructure within our city where all members can access it confidently. It is only when we (all businesses) work together, that we can create a viable path to the future for these individuals with special needs. The Kentucky Center is one such business that sees the gravity of such an activity for a community's members. Our program will greatly benefit from the Kentucky Center coming on board early in the process as a business who has an eye on the future and one that other businesses can emulate."
This expands on the Center's efforts to provide a safe and welcoming environment for families. We are in our fifth season of partnering with StageOne Family Theatre to provide Sensory-Friendly performances. This new effort with FEAT of Louisville was a natural fit as we continue to work to do whatever we can to meet the needs of families with children and of adults on the spectrum. In addition to the Sensory-Friendly performances, the Center also offers noise reduction headphones for all events at the Center and Brown Theatre.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism), refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.
We hope that by participating in this Initiative families will feel confident that our staff and volunteers are fully trained and prepared to provide an open and welcoming environment when they attend events here. It is our aspiration to ensure the community will have more options when planning social activities and become more engaged in the vibrant arts community Louisville has to offer.