Sensory Guides/Resources & Needs

Idlewild and Soak Zone, Ligonier, PA

Named “Best Childrens’ Park” by Amusement Today, and “Best Park for Families” by the National Amusement Park Historical Association, Idlewild & SoakZone is your ticket to family-friendly fun! Our classic amusement park rides, complete waterpark in Pittsburgh, PA, live entertainment and unique attractions like Story Book Forest and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood are sure to please kids of all ages!
Bring the whole family to enjoy special events like Hallowboo, family dining options, and a whole season of fun! Idlewild & SoakZone amusement park near Pittsburgh is your destination for smiles, memories, and more.

Hersheypark

The Hersheypark Attraction Accessibility Program is designed to allow guests to
participate in the enjoyment of our Park as much as possible. Each Hersheypark
attraction has been evaluated for the criteria necessary for an individual to ride
safely. Our ridership criteria (set forth on page 10 of this Guide) are based on the
requirements of the attractions’ manufacturers and the ability of guests to utilize
all safety restraints and devices as designed, while maintaining the proper riding
position throughout the duration of the ride. It is our policy to allow anyone to
ride who meets all of these requirements and is not a hazard to herself/himself or
others. Our Attraction Accessibility Program matches the individual abilities of our
guests to the ridership criteria for each attraction. The following procedures apply
to guests who wish to participate in our Attraction Accessibility Program:
1. Guests can enroll in our Attraction Accessibility Program at Hospitality
Services or any Guest Services location where guests will be asked to
complete and sign an Attraction Accessibility Questionnaire. Based on the
responses to the questionnaire, guests will receive an Attraction Boarding
Pass with a list of attractions they may be able to enjoy and a Rider Safety
and Accessibility Guide.
2. Only those guests with mobility impairments (which generally require
the use of assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes,
or crutches) and certain qualifying accommodation needs will receive
an Attraction Boarding Pass that will allow them access through each
Hersheypark attraction’s accessible entrance or Fast TrackSM program
entrance. This accommodation is designed to provide access to our
attractions and not to bypass others waiting in the queue line. In an effort
to be fair to all of our guests, only those guests with a mobility impairment
or other qualifying accommodation need and up to three riding
companions will be allowed to access attractions through the accessible/
Fast Track entrance. Participation in the Attraction Accessibility Program
does not guarantee access through the accessible/Fast Track entrance.

Pittsburgh International Airport – Presley’s Place

Air travel is stressful, and it can be especially difficult for individuals with autism and other  neurodevelopmental challenges. Presley’s Place offers a calming respite for travelers with sensory sensitivities and their families to de-escalate prior to getting on a plane or even after landing. To best understand the needs of the community, we brought together advocacy groups,individuals and caregivers of children with neurodevelopmental challenges to share their experiences and offer suggestions for the room’s design.

Sensory-friendly movie screenings

AMC Theatres (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment on a monthly basis with the “Sensory Friendly Films” program.

To provide a more comfortable setting for this unique audience, the lights are brought up and the sound turned down.  Families are able to bring in their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks. Additionally, audience members are welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing – in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced unless the safety of the audience is questioned.

Call us at 412-856-7223 or AMC Loews Waterfront Theater 22 at 412-462-6550 for more information.

Religious services

One of God’s pioneers in this area is Dr. Larry Sutton, an employee of the PA State Autism Bureau, and a Deacon at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Scott Township. He recently served at a mass in Washington, DC, with Cardinal Donald Wuehrl that focused on the inclusion of those with disabilities in Catholic worship.

Dr. Sutton also played a critical role in the formation of practices and recommendations for the special needs population in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. He currently is working with 25 families in a program that provides religious instruction, preparation for the sacraments, and an inclusive worship service at 9:30 each Sunday.

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Peters Township continues to offer a special needs worship service the second Sunday of each month at 1 p.m.

Westminster Church in Upper St. Clair has formed a committee to address the needs of autistic students in their Sunday school classes and youth group with the hope of improving their worship experience.