Ocean Organics (with locations in Toms River, Seaside Park and Jackson, NJ) is Certified Sensory Inclusive
“Today, our business launched a partnership with KultureCity. This endeavor has trained our staff how to recognize potential sensory ‘meltdowns’ and offer families support with a sensory bag and a quiet place for the person to regain themselves. If you’ve ever been in a situation where your child or someone else was in a sensory meltdown, it is no fun. Often they are met with lots of stares, whispers and all around discomfort. Not in our space. We are a place for everyone. I’m so overwhelmed with emotion to be able to support this ever growing population,” stated Ocean Organics Cafe owner Lisa Wacha.
As the parents of a non verbal son with autism, owners Jason and Lisa Wacha are very passionate about inclusion for all. Lisa is also the daughter of a parent with early onset dementia so this program is near and dear to their family in many ways. They are not only local business owners, but also strong activists for families affected by autism. They truly, on a personal level, understand the need for sensory inclusion.
KultureCity has partnered with Ocean Organics Cafe and Juice Bar to make their Restaurants and all of the programs and events that they host to be sensory inclusive. This new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests and fans with a sensory issue that visits the restaurants.
The certification process entailed the staff at all Ocean Organics locations being trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognize those guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools and verbal cue cards will also be available to all guests at the restaurants who may feel overwhelmed by the environment. They will also have use of a dedicated sensory room designed by medical professionals for those who may need a quieter and more secure environment.
Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which can sometimes be a part of the environment an eatery like Ocean Organics Cafe and Juice Bar. With its new certification, Ocean Organics Cafe and Juice Bar is now better prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible.
Prior to attending Ocean Organics Cafe and Juice Bars, families can download the free KultureCity App where one can view what sensory features are available and where they can access them. Also, on the App is the Social Story which will provide a preview of what to expect while enjoying eating at Ocean Organics.
“Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that Ocean Organics Cafe and Juice Bar is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.” Dr. Julian Maha, Co-Founder, KultureCity.
KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using their resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs; not just those with Autism. Since the program’s inception, KultureCity has created over 200 sensory inclusive venues in three countries; this includes special events such as: NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB All Star Weekend. KultureCity has won many awards for its efforts: NASCAR Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2017, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quiet Space Sensory Room at Quicken Loans Arena was a finalist for the 2018 Stadium Business Award, and the 2018 Clio Sports Silver for social good in partnership with Cleveland Cavaliers/Quicken Loans Arena. Recently, KultureCity was awarded one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019 by FastCompany.