On April 2, in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, representatives from BBVA Compass Stadium, KultureCity and Texas Children’s Health Plan unveiled the Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Suite at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the stadium.
Located in the northeast corner of the stadium outside of Section 220, the Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Suite includes a Sensory Room and a Mothers Room, making BBVA Compass Stadium the first sensory-inclusive facility in Major League Soccer. The Sensory Room was designed and installed in cooperation with KultureCity and Mothers Room at the BBVA Compass Stadium. KultureCity is the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to fight for inclusion and acceptance of all individuals, and advocates for those with sensory challenges such as autism and PTSD, just to name a few. It also provides training and equipment to public and private spaces in order to create an inclusive experience for everyone.
“KultureCity is truly honored to work with BBVA Compass Stadium and the Houston Dynamo to make them the first KultureCity Sensory-Inclusive MLS stadium. By recognizing this growing need and wanting to do something about it, they are truly putting their fans and guests first so that everyone regardless of their disabilities or sensory needs can be accepted and included,” said KultureCity co-founder Julian Maha, M.D. “This is a great day for the City of Houston and a great day for Major League Soccer in general. Thank you to the amazing team at the stadium and the entire Dynamo and Dash organization.”
The Mothers Room provides private space for mothers to nurse or pump while at the stadium and features seating for parent and child, as well as power outlets, a changing station and a television so mothers and children won’t miss a moment of game action.
In addition to the sensory room itself, the stadium will provide sensory bags created by KultureCity to guests who visit the space, and BBVA Compass Stadium and Houston Dynamo and Dash employees participated in sensory awareness training in order to understand how best to serve fans with unique needs and concerns.
“We take great pride in creating the most welcoming and inclusive atmosphere possible for all events at BBVA Compass Stadium, and we’re extremely excited about the addition of the Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Suite,” said Stadium Executive Vice President and General Manager Juan Rodriguez. “The Mothers Room will provide a private and comfortable space for women to care for their young children, and the Sensory Room affords fans with sensory needs the opportunity to step away if the sights and sounds inside the stadium become too much for them. We’re very grateful to the experts at KultureCity for their assistance in creating the space and training our staff.”
Since 2011, Texas Children’s Health Plan has been the official health insurance plan for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) of the Houston Dynamo, Houston Dash and BBVA Compass Stadium. In addition to the new Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Suite, the health plan also sponsors the Texas Children’s Health Plan Family Section, located in Section 201 on the southwest corner of the stadium.
“We are proud to be a sponsor of the Houston Dynamo and are very excited to be part of the new Sensory Room and Mother’s Room at BBVA Compass Stadium,” Vice-President of Texas Children’s Health Plan Sherry Vetter said. “This innovative space is consistent with our mission to create a healthier future for children and women throughout our global community. The dedicated Mother’s Room gives nursing moms a private place to care for their infants while staying connected to the match and the Sensory Room provides a sensory-sensitive space for parents and children to enjoy and engage in matches on their terms.”