The Akron Children’s Hospital FirstEnergy Akron Marathonn is making history as the first-ever sensory inclusive marathon. KultureCity will be on hand with sensory activation vehicle with sensory toolkits including noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, weighted lap pads and more. To get ready for the first ever sensory inclusive marathon, Akron Marathon staff & volunteers are going through a certification process to help support guests with sensory needs.
The Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race team will be trained and ready to support guests and even fans with sensory needs to avoid sensory overload on race day. They will also be trained on conditions including autism, PTSD, Parkinson’s disease, and early onset dementia. In the case of sensory overload, there will be a safe space designed to ease the mind and calm the senses on race day.
“I believe if you truly want to see change, it starts with you,” states Amy Belles, KultureCity Ohio’s Co-Founder and mom to a son with autism.
In 2016, Amy began running after her nonverbal son was diagnosed with autism. Amy wanted to see change, not only for her son Carson—but for other children and she became a vital part of KultureCity with her husband, Jeff. Since 2016, KultureCity has gone from seven sensory inclusive venture to more than 400 in four different countries.
MaryBeth Emerich is mom to three children with autism spectrum disorder and is thrilled that the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race is the first ever sensory inclusive marathon!
“I know my sons can now attend this event, thanks to KultureCity’s sensory inclusive help—and I’m aware that this is one more step to raising awareness and to full inclusivity in the community,” states MaryBeth Emerich. “This is an amazing event that benefits Akron Children’s Hospital, and with the partnership of KultureCity, we can bring awareness and help include a community that otherwise may not feel comfortable participating or attending.”
Download the free KultureCity App before race day so that you can know all about the sensory features that are available and where they can access them.
For more information, race registration and volunteer opportunities for the final race series event, please visit at AkronMarathon.org.