AA County Exec encourages organizers of events to offer “sensory free” events

| April 20, 2017
Rams Head
Steve Schuh

Steve Schuh, Anne Arundel County Executive

In a recent memo, County Executive Steve Schuh is encouraging local organizations that plan to sponsor festival and carnivals this spring to feature “sensory free” events to accommodate children with autism and families with other special needs.

“April is National Autism Awareness Month, and it is an excellent opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year,” wrote Schuh. “I encourage all event sponsors this spring to help address the needs of the growing number of our citizens diagnosed with autism.”

“Sensory-free” events are a growing trend nationally that require a festival or carnival sponsor to dim the lights and sounds associated with many popular rides and attractions. The practice provides a modified atmosphere for autistic children and other special needs families, allowing them and their families to enjoy these festivities.

Autism is a developmental disability affecting more than 3.5 million citizens in the United States, or 1 in 68 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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