The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) has announced that the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) and the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center (Hynes) have been certified as “Sensory Friendly Establishments” by Sensory City after completing a comprehensive training program for customer-facing staff. The BCEC and Hynes are the first convention facilities in the Northeast to attain this certification, just in time for National Autism Awareness Month in April.
Sensory City is a non-profit organisation dedicated to creating more inclusive and accessible spaces and events for all. The MCCA has worked with Sensory City for over a year to become a “Sensory Friendly Establishment,” which creates a more inclusive and accepting environment for persons with autism, sensory processing disorders and other disabilities.
“As a proud Bostonian, I applaud the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority for leading the way and setting an example by creating an inclusive space for those with invisible disabilities,” said Tanya Acosta, Sensory City Founder. “Boston should be at the forefront of creating inclusion for all our citizens. I sincerely hope that other establishments will recognise the importance of training and awareness and follow suit to accommodate those with invisible disabilities such as autism, dementia, PTSD, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and others.”
“The MCCA strives to create a welcoming environment for every guest visiting our facilities,” said David Gibbons, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. “This training provides our staff with the skills and resources to accommodate those with invisible disabilities. I’m incredibly proud that the BCEC and Hynes are now certified as Sensory Friendly Establishments. I want to thank Sensory City and the MCCA’s Human Resources department for facilitating this training to our customer-facing teams.”
In addition to staff training and certification, Sensory City also provides resources such as sensory kits and communication booklets available at the BCEC and Hynes upon request. Signage at both the BCEC and Hynes informs guests they are visiting a “Sensory Friendly Establishment.”
About Sensory City
Sensory City is an organisation that is dedicated to helping children with disabilities. The Boston-based nonprofit strives to make family outings more enjoyable and accessible for families and persons with disabilities. Founded in 2018 by Tanya Acosta, an accredited bilingual Speech Language Pathologist with more than 20 years of experience working with children with disabilities and sensory needs. Tanya’s inspiration for creating this organisation is her son Colin, who was born with Down Syndrome and had sensory issues.