OIC Partners with KultureCity to become sensory inclusive

Date: 02/09/2021

Child and mother happily in a sensory inclusive environment

ORTHOPAEDIC INSTITUTE FOR CHILDREN FIRST MEDICAL FACILITY ON THE WEST COAST TO BE KULTURECITY CERTIFIED AS “SENSORY INCLUSIVE”

Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC) has partnered with KultureCity to designate OIC’s programs and services as sensory inclusive. This new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all patients and visitors with a sensory issue who visit this healthcare facility.

The certification process entails the staff at OIC being trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognize those patient and guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, verbal cue cards (produced in conjunction with Boardmaker) and weighted lap pads, will also be available to all patients and their families who may feel overwhelmed by the environment. For those patients who may need a more secure environment, the use of dedicated quiet and private spaces designed by medical professionals is available in OIC’s patient care areas.

Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which is commonly found in a healthcare environment. With its new certification, OIC is now better prepared to assist patients with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible during their medical visit.

Prior to visiting OIC, families can download the free KultureCity App where they can view what sensory features are available and how to access them. Also, on the App is the Social Story which provides a preview of what to expect at OIC.

“A trip to a healthcare facility is often times already stressful and overwhelming and when you add the pandemic into the mix, the experience is even more daunting,“ said Dr. Julian Maha, Co-Founder of KultureCity.  “When Chris and Anel Gorham, KultureCity board members, suggested making OIC inclusive, we were thrilled. As we make venues of all types inclusive, it’s important to include our medical facilities and certifying OIC as the first medical facility on the West Coast supports and reiterates our mission.”

In addition to serving on the KultureCity Board, actor Christopher and his wife Anel Lopez Gorham also serve on the OIC Advisory Board. “Anel and I are so pleased to be part of the KultureCity and Orthopaedic Institute for Children families,” said Christopher. “It is our honor to have connected these two amazing non-profits. We are so proud as Orthpaedic Institute for Children becomes the first West Coast hospital to earn KultureCity certification as Sensory Inclusive.”