Sensory kits make visits to Rock Hall easier for those with autism

CLEVELAND-- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a noisy place. There's music everything, bright lights, livid colors, shiny cars and lots of people.

It can be a bit overwhelming.

"There were good days and bad days because of the noise around here with him being so sensitive," said James Davidson about his son, Zachary.

They've been to the Rock Hall several times, but occasionally, they have to step out of the exhibits. That's because it can be a lot for Zachary, who has autism, to handle.

Now, the Rock Hall is the first music museum to offer sensory kits for visitors. KultureCity, a group that specialized in helping venues and institutions create environments easier for people with sensory issues, made the kits.

"We give places such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame all the tools that would dampen the effects of sensory overload. We give weighted lap pads, in case you feel overload, if there are too many people. We give sunglasses because of the bright lights," said Traci Johnson, KultureCity director.

The kits also feature noise-canceling headphones and fidget toys. They aren't just for children, but adults with post-traumatic stress or dementia can also benefit from these resources.

For Zachary, the headphones made this trip to the Rock Hall very easy.

"He was always afraid to go into the pinball machine room because it's so much noise and now that he's got headphones and sensory equipment, like squishy ball things and sensory gear, he actually played all the pinball machines today," his dad said.

The kits are available for any visitor to borrow. Just ask museum staff.

Quicken Loans Arena started offering the kits to guests last year.