BIG4 Renmark is leading the way in pushing for inclusive tourism in Australia – opening a quiet sensory space and undertaking Autism Friendly Charter training in an effort to make their park more accessible to everyone.
Susan Peucker, Operations Manager, says that the initiative was all about being inclusive. “We wanted to facilitate a space for everyone to enjoy – this was not a ‘business move’ – we just want everyone to have the same opportunities.
“A close member of our family is on the autism spectrum, and we know that they have found it quite difficult to travel in the past. We all got together as a family and thought ‘well… what about a sensory room?’ From there our family, and our niece, who is an Occupational Therapist, did a lot of research and pulled together the resources to create the space.”
The sensory space is a locked room at the park, and guests can ask for a key on check in or at any time during their stay. Guests are welcome to keep their key for the duration of their stay.
The resounding feedback about the space has been overwhelmingly positive, and Susan shares that they had at least two families using the room per week over the festive season.
“We did not expect that it would be so popular. We weren’t sure initially how much it would actually get used, but that didn’t matter, we just wanted it to be available if somebody needed it. It is just part of being inclusive… but people have reached out to us and have shared that knowing we had the space reduced them to tears.”
The sensory room isn’t the only inclusive move Big4 Renmark has made. Susan and the team at Big 4 Renmark have had a strong focus on inclusive tourism over the past few years. They have designed Family Villas that are fully accessible, and have also introduced tandem bikes for visually impaired guests that would still like to enjoy a ride around the park.
Susan shares, “We aim for our park to be accessible to everyone, and child friendly… we just want to provide something for families that haven’t had the opportunity to holiday like this in the past”
Susan also shares that taking on Autism SA’s Autism Friendly Charter training has helped them to plan future initiatives in the park – including special quiet spaces for families to enjoy around the park.
We can’t wait to see what else is in the pipeline for inclusivity at Big 4 Renmark!
Want to know how to make your organisation autism friendly? Learn more about our Autism Friendly Charter and how you can make your business more inclusive here.
Images supplied by BIG 4 Renmark.
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