Today is World Autism Awareness Day and as medical experts try to find a cure that affects 1 in 70 kids at birth. While it’s possible for those with autism to live fulfilling lives, it takes an effort by everyone to make sure they are most comfortable. In collaboration with KultureCity, the NBA is doing what they can to be accommodating for people with autism as well as those who are taking care of them.

According to Fast Company, The NBA Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City has redesigned their store with the kinds of things not only for those with autism, but other sensory disabilities like posttraumatic stress disorder.

While other retailers have held sensory-friendly shopping days, the NBA Store is believed to be the first store of its kind in the world make it a permanent part of its operations. “Our hope is that we will demonstrate how easy it is to make spaces more inclusive, and will inspire other stores to do the same,” says Todd Jacobson, SVP of social responsibility at the NBA. “It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s also good for business, since it means people with extra needs and their whole families will feel welcome.”

The store will have sensory bags that they can provide for use in the store that include noise canceling headphones, fidget toys and an iPad that will have activities for people to do. In addition, there are quiet rooms and secret exits one can go into if things get to be too bad and require a quick exit from the store floor.

This isn’t limited to the NBA Store either. Thanks to KultureCity, some of the same things are being done at NBA arenas due to the loud noises and high intensity atmosphere that usually takes place at sporting events. One such team who has been on the forefront of this has been the Oklahoma City Thunder.

By giving those with sensory disabilities a quiet area, they can enjoy a game like everyone else while the rest of the crowd gets to be as loud as they want. It’s a way to make everyone feel included and get to root for their team in the environment they are most comfortable to be in.

[Fast Company/Photo: NBA]

About Phillip Bupp

News and soccer editor for The Comeback and I occasionally write for Awful Announcing and Freezing Cold Takes. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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