The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport unveiled its new sensory room Friday. It’s for travelers who are easily overstimulated. KultureCity, an advocacy group for people with autism, worked on the initiative with the Birmingham Airport Authority.
Being in an airport can be stressful for travelers. There are bright lights, loud noises and big crowds. The sensory overload can be heightened for people with autism and other sensory issues, such as post traumatic stress disorder.
“So the sensory room provides a calm space and a safe space importantly for those individuals to use, calm down, and be able to continue on with their flight itinerary,” says Michele Kong, co-founder of KultureCity.
There is a light dimmer to control brightness, and a textured wall visitors can touch. There is also a calming bubble wall. The Birmingham Airport is believed to be the first airport nationwide to provide a sensory room accessible to everyone.