Kent State University to host sensory-friendly basketball experience for fans with special needs

Kent State University to host sensory-friendly basketball experience for fans with special needs
Kent State University men’s basketball guard Troy Simons goes up for a layup. (Source: Kent State University)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Kent State University will host a sensory-friendly basketball game experience in hopes of being inclusive for those with special needs.

The basketball game will take place on Dec. 21 when the men’s team hosts Hampton University.

Kent State will work with KultureCity and other autism-focused organizations to develop a gameday experience without flashing lights and loud noises.

“You want to modify the event, but you don’t want to change the experience,” Jordon Gliem, speech language pathologist and sensory trainer with KultureCity, said.

Sensory bags, featuring noise-canceling headphones, activity toys, and communication cards for nonverbal attendants, will also be give out at the game.

KultureCity previously worked with Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and other professional sports organization to make certain venues more inclusive.

Kalin Bennett, the team’s freshman center, is believed to be the first collegiate athlete diagnosed with autism to sign a national letter of intent in Division I men’s basketball.

A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to local nonprofit organizations.

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