Former “Jersey Shore” star Jenni Farley cut the ribbon on Wednesday to mark the grand opening of the very first sensory room in a New York arena — and it’s dedicated to her son who is on the autism spectrum .
Farley, better known as JWoww, explained that she brought her son Greyson Mathews who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder three years ago. She had thought her son was suffering from a speech delay as part of the diagnosis, so she took him to a WWE show in Brooklyn when he was 2 years old.
âWhen we sat here at the Barclays Center, I realized autism is bigger than that,â said the 35-year-old mother of two. “We realized that sensory needs and sensory issues were at play. Long story short, he couldn’t fully enjoy the experience.”
That’s when Farley decided something needed to be done to make crowded spaces like sports arenas more accessible to kids like Greyson. The reality TV star then teamed up with the non-profit KultureCity to bring the sensory room to Barclays.
âNow Greyson can live his best life attending events,â she said.
A spokesperson for the Barclays Center said the venue was sensory included by providing free sensory bags fitted with noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted pads at customer service stations. . But the new sensory room opened Tuesday for the Brooklyn Nets game is a huge next step in making sure the center is welcoming to all.
âWhen we talk about accessibility and inclusion, we have an obligation to ensure that our guests with invisible disabilities are treated with the appropriate accommodations at arena events,â said Stacey McCoy, Senior Director of Customer Services at Barclays Center in a press release. âWorking with KultureCity to gain inclusive sensory certification has helped Barclays Center become more welcoming to all of our customers and serve a whole new community of individuals. “