The Greater Lansing region prides itself on being a welcoming community and it is our goal to provide the best experience to all guests that visit. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 59 children are diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Therefore, in 2017 the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau began a collaboration with regional attractions to provide a supportive and welcoming environment for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental disabilities, sensory processing disorder, and other neuro-diverse individuals and their families. Multiple attractions have joined the partnership including: Impression 5 Science Center, Celebration Cinema, MSU’s Abrams Planetarium, MSU Museum, Potter Park Zoo, Michigan History Center, State Capitol Building, Lansing Art Gallery, the Lansing Lugnuts, Preuss Pets and the Wharton Center for Performing Arts.
Additionally, the GLCVB has partnered with the Mid-Michigan Autism Association (MMAA), Residential Options, Inc. (ROI) and Michigan State University (MSU) to facilitate local trainings for front line hospitality staff, in order to further enhance the visitor experience for people on the autism spectrum and their families. Over 1,400 individuals have undergone the training to better meet the needs of our neuro-diverse guests.
“The Greater Lansing community takes great pride in having numerous offerings tailored to the growing number of neuro-diverse guests and their families,” said Julie Pingston, GLCVB President and CEO. “It is our hope to continue to develop and conduct ASD training for our hospitality partners and encourage sensory-friendly activities by our attractions.”
The Greater Lansing community will be celebrating Autism Awareness Month this April with the following sensory-friendly activities as well as a robust calendar of sensory-friendly programming throughout the year.
April 4 – Sensory Friendly Show of Mulan at Celebration Cinema
April 11 – Sensory Friendly Show of Peter Rabbit 2 at Celebration Cinema
April 13 – Autism Friendly event at LAUNCH Trampoline Park
April 18 – Sensory Friendly FALCONERS program at Potter Park Zoo
April 18 – Autism-Friendly Saturday at MSU Museum
April 19 – Sensory-Friendly show at Abrams Planetarium (11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.)
April 24 – Sensory-Friendly hours at Impression 5 Science Center (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
April 25 – Sensory Friendly Show of Trolls World Tour at Celebration Cinema
April 26 – Miss Nelson has a Field Day at Wharton Center for Performing Arts (1:30 p.m.)
For a complete schedule of ongoing sensory-friendly activities and attractions, including information on restaurants and virtual tours of over 50 area locations, please visit https://www.lansing.org/things-to-do/sensoryfriendly/.