NORTH CANTON  Faith United Methodist Church at 300 Ninth St. NW has partnered with KultureCity to make the church and all of the worship services, programs and events sensory inclusive.

Faith UMC is the first church in the Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas county areas, and the third church in the nation to become a KultureCity Sensory Inclusive Certified location, according to a news release.

The new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all persons and those with a sensory issue who visit Faith UMC. So far, more than 80 volunteer ministry leaders and staff have participated in sensory inclusive training. The certification process entailed 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, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads will be available at the Welcome Center or in the church office.

The church also has several designated quiet areas for persons who may need to take a break to rest and calm themselves while attending worship services and church events. Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD, and other similar conditions.

Prior to attending a Faith UMC event, families can download the free KultureCity App where they 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 an event or worship service at Faith UMC.

KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using their resources to revolutionize and affect change in the community for those with sensory needs.

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