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Erie County Fair introduces sensory friendly hours

In addition to offering sensory kits, a sensory room and sensory hours have been introduced this year.

HAMBURG, N.Y. — The Erie County Fair has introduced some new accommodations for families with members who may not normally be able to go because they find the sights and sounds of the fair overwhelming.

In addition to previously offered sensory kits, the fair is introducing a sensory room, as well as sensory hours for one day of the fair.

The new sensory room located in the first level of the security building is available for families looking for a sensory-friendly place to take a break when a person become overwhelmed. This room was built after getting input from Autism Services, The Autism Institute at Canisius College, and the Autism Society of America.

The room will include ambient sound, calming lights, wall padding, weighted blankets, a bubble wall feature, as well as sensory kit items. It will be open during regular fair hours and closes at 10 p.m.

The sensory room will be available to people with ASD and related disabilities including learning difficulties, developmental disabilities or sensory impairments.

Additionally, sensory hours will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 16 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. to make the fair more accessible to people who might normally find it too much to handle.

During these hours rides will run without flashing lights, music or microphones. Lights will be turned down and PA announcements will be quieter during that time.

“The Erie County Fair prides itself in providing a welcoming entertainment venue for all patrons, ensuring that those with disabilities have the same opportunity to enjoy all we have to offer,” said Jessica Underberg, CEO and fair manager.

Sensory kits will continue to be available and will include noise cancelling headphones, a number of fidget spinners, pop-its, soft toys and imaginative play items. The kits are available at the Main Office, Security Building, Friends of the Fair office and the new Sensory Room throughout the fair. 

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