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Texas A&M's Annenberg Presidential Conference Center is now certified 'sensory-inclusive'

The Annenberg Presidential Conference Center at TAMU is leading the way in accommodating and providing positive experiences for guests with sensory sensitivities.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Annenberg Presidential Conference Center (APCC) at Texas A&M University recently became the first event center on campus or in the entire Brazos valley to be certified 'sensory inclusive'.

"I think it's important for Texas A&M to set the standard for the Brazos Valley community," APCC Event Manager Tracey Hefti said. "While the Brazos Valley does support a multitude of sensory-inclusive events, there's not really a facility certified, so that every event is able to be sensory-inclusive."

The APCC became certified sensory-inclusive after three to four months of preparation and training, according to Hefti. The conference center worked with KultureCity, a nonprofit organization that trains staff at venues and then certifies which ones have sensory-inclusive modifications.

"There are lots of people that make the accommodations that just kind of either bring their own or don't come," Hefti said "What I've seen is we partner with the library to do quite a few events, so a lot of the younger children that have sensory processing disorders need more accommodation."

Those with PTSD, anxiety, ADHD, autism, or any other sensory processing disorder can be offered things like noise-canceling headphones, verbal cue cards, weighted lap pads, or just a quiet room if they feel overwhelmed.

"Anybody that comes into our facility, even if you don't have a diagnosis, and you're like, you know what, I'm feeling really overwhelmed right now, and I'm here for an all-day conference. I just need kind of need a space to decompress. Do you have something that we can use? Absolutely," Hefti said. 

The APCC encourages those who plan on attending an event, whether for graduation, a concert, or a high-profile guest. You can download the free KultureCity app to view which sensory features are available before attending.

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