Seattle PlayGarden. Jeffrey Martin

Sensory Seattle

Seattle has long embraced inclusivity and diversity, and in a variety of innovative ways. But diversity isn’t only about how we appear to others. It also reflects who we are inside.

By Malia Alexander
Four people in colorful clothing using wheelchairs on a paved court in the foreground with a crowd of people sitting on a bench in the background.

Seattle PlayGarden. Jeffrey Martin

Many of the city’s attractions and cultural organizations have developed and continue to create programs and features that address the unique needs of neurodivergent visitors. Different branches of the Seattle Public Library host sensory storytimes for children who have difficulties with larger crowds. The Burke Museum (4303 Memorial Way NE) offers visitors the use of fidget wristbands, visors, and noise-reducing earmuffs. And The Museum of Flight (9404 Marginal Way S) regularly presents Sensory Days. During special hours, the museum is open exclusively to neurodivergent people and other guests with disabilities, and lighting and sound are adjusted to create a more comfortable experience.

Seattle PlayGarden (1745 24th Ave S) offers an inclusive, welcoming environment that extends from a community garden to wheelchair basketball games. And the Seahawks (Lumen Field, 800 Occidental Ave S) and Mariners (T-Mobile Park, 1250 First Ave S) have their own sensory rooms for spectators; the Mariners also present an annual Autism Awareness Day, during which T-Mobile Park’s 300-seat Ellis Pavilion is designated a sensory-sensitive quiet area.


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