Sensory-Friendly Santa Coming To Hundreds Of Locations Nationwide
[Source: Disability Scoop]
As the holiday season gets underway, hundreds of malls will offer individuals with disabilities a special opportunity to meet with Santa Claus without the hubbub that such visits often entail. Roughly 500 shopping centers across the U.S. will host sensory-friendly events with Santa this year.
The reservation-only opportunities will largely occur outside of normal business hours to provide a less crowded environment and limit wait times. Santa and other event staff will be trained to accommodate individuals of all ages with disabilities and lighting and music will be reduced to ease sensory concerns, according to Cherry Hill Programs, which organizes the Santa experiences.
Jennifer Schell Podoll, senior vice president of constituent engagement at Autism Speaks, which helps put on the events, said that sensory-friendly Santa offers families of those with disabilities the opportunity to engage in a holiday tradition that many take for granted.
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