Seattle, Wash. – The Seattle Seahawks today announced new sensory room updates at Lumen Field, as well as training for event staff to better support guests with sensory needs. Launched in 2019 as the A-OK Sensory Room, the space will now be known as “Ben’s Room” and will continue to provide a safe and quiet environment for guests at Lumen Field for those who need a respite from the noise and excitement that comes with the Seahawks gameday experience.
The room was originally led by Tracy Schneider, who along with her husband, Seahawks General Manager John Schneider, has long supported young people and families with autism through their foundation, Ben’s Fund. They launched the Ben Fund in 2012 in honor of their son Ben, who was diagnosed with autism at age 3.
To oversee the renovation project, the Seahawks partnered with KultureCity, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization in sensory access and admission for people with invisible disabilities. Ben’s newly redesigned room is fitted with 100% recycled soundproofing carpet along the floor and walls, along with new activity boards, Yogibo bean bags, Nanoleaf visual light panels, and Sparkle Interactive Light by NunoErin, which includes fun furniture Therapeuticly embedded with soft glowing lights that respond to movement, and bubble walls. The room also features original artwork by Ben Schneider. As part of the project, KultureCity has also facilitated training for more than 400 gameday employees at Lumen Field. Led by medical professionals, the training teaches staff how to recognize guests and fans with sensory needs, as well as how to handle sensory overload. The space is designed to be used by families for 15-20 minutes at a time, for a short break from the noise during the game.
“We are proud to rename Lumen Field’s sensory room ‘Ben’s Room’ in recognition of the incredible work that Traci and John Schneider continue to do in our community supporting young people and families with autism,” said Karen Wilkins Mickey, Vice President of Diversity at Seahawks. fairness and inclusion. “We know gameday game noise can be confusing for many guests. My son hasn’t attended the Seahawks yet due to sensory challenges related to autism, and I hope inclusive rooms like this can change that for him in the future. We are grateful to our partners at KultureCity for their efforts. in helping us provide an improved space of calm and serenity for anyone who needs it.”
Ben’s Room is located in the Guest Services Center on Southwest Field Plaza and is open to all full stadium events. Children using the room must be accompanied by an adult. Fans can also check out free sensory kits at the SW Guest Services Center location in Field Plaza, just south of the Pro Store. The kit includes noise canceling headphones, earplugs and sensory toys.
“Our communities are what shape our lives and knowing that Seahawks and Lumen Field are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, regardless of their abilities, is amazingly included in their community. We are honored to partner with Seahawks to provide Uma Srivastava, CEO, KultureCity,” said Uma Srivastava, CEO, KultureCity. A truly comprehensive experience for all fans and guests.”
KultureCity is a leading nationally recognized nonprofit for using its resources to revolutionize and make a difference in society for people with sensory needs, not just people with autism. Since the program’s inception, KultureCity has created over 1,000 venues for the senses in 6 countries: this includes special events such as the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, and MLB All Star Weekend. KultureCity has won numerous awards for its efforts, including the 2017 NASCAR Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award and the 2018 Clio Sports Silver Silver Award for Social Good in partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers/Quicken Loans Arena. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quiet Space Sensory at Quicken Loans Arena was a finalist for the 2018 Stadium Business Award, KultureCity was named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019 and 2020 by FastCompany and recently won the Industry Partner Award at TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Awards 2019.