The Philadelphia Eagles, in partnership with KultureCity, have announced the official certification of Lincoln Financial Field as a sensory-inclusive stadium. This new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests and fans with sensory challenges visiting Lincoln Financial Field. As part of that, the Eagles have become one of the first sports franchises to build a state-of-the-art sensory room in its home venue.
Presented by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), a founding beneficiary partner of the Eagles Autism Challenge and one of the nation's top-ranked hospitals for children, the Lincoln Financial Field sensory room is one piece of a broader collaboration between the Eagles and CHOP to benefit families throughout the region. For the past decade, the Eagles and CHOP have collaborated on the team's annual Huddle Up event, a carnival-style gathering geared specifically for families impacted by autism. Since August 2016, the Eagles have donated nearly $2 million to benefit autism programs at CHOP and the Center for Autism Research.
The sensory inclusive certification process entailed training for Eagles employees and Lincoln Financial Field staff by leading medical professionals. It included how to recognize guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags equipped with noise-cancelling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads are made available to all guests as part of their experience. The 500-square-foot, state-of-the-art sensory room has been carefully designed by top medical professionals to ensure a quieter and more secure environment.
Lincoln Financial Field's sensory room opened its doors to the public on Sunday, August 4, at the team's Training Camp practice. With proceeds from Sunday's practice going to the Eagles Autism Challenge, Inc. the team's philanthropic priority in support of autism research and care, more than half a million dollars ($506k+) was raised for the cause.
"With the opening of Lincoln Financial Field in 2003, we made it an organizational priority to create a one-of-a-kind experience for guests in a safe, friendly and inclusive environment," said Jeffrey Lurie, Chairman and CEO of the Philadelphia Eagles. "It is truly heartwarming to know that this state-of-the-art sensory room will now provide a sense of ease and comfort for families and loved ones who may be experiencing sensory challenges at Lincoln Financial Field. In this moment, we are creating a major shift from autism awareness to action, and it is all thanks to our compassionate and caring fans, Eagles Autism Challenge supporters, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and the autism community around the world."
Take a look at the best photos from this year's Eagles Autism Challenge!