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Lego Will Make Stores ‘Sensory Inclusive’ to Increase Neurodivergent Accessibility

KultureCity sensory bag. Image courtesy Lego.

To mark Autism Acceptance Month, all Lego stores in the U.S. and Canada will be certified as “sensory inclusive” by the nonprofit KultureCity in April. Associates will be trained to understand how sensory needs vary and how they can best help neurodivergent children and adults in the store. Additionally, sensory bags containing noise-reduction headphones, fidget tools, visual cue cards to assist with non-verbal communication, strobe reduction glasses and a badge identifying the wearer as a “KCVIP” will be available at no charge.

LEGO House, in the company’s headquarters city of Billund, Denmark, already carries the KultureCity Sensory Inclusive certification, and the company plans to expand it to stores in more countries later in 2024. The certification serves as a reassurance to neurodivergent visitors and their families that the store environment will be welcoming.

“We know the LEGO System in Play is enjoyed by neurodivergent fans of all ages and we want to support, inspire and celebrate their creativity,” said Colette Burke, Chief Commercial Officer at Lego Group in a statement. “We hope that the changes to our stores, publications and family attractions will have a positive impact and help embrace the diverse needs and strengths of our fans globally.”

Lego also is spotlighting autistic creators on its YouTube channel with its Love the Way You Think series, including Allyson Gail, a U.S. creator who builds Lego models of food with faces, and Casey “Remrov” Vormer, a pencil artist in Canada who creates hyper-realistic drawings.

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A number of other large retailers have made moves in recent years to make their stores more welcoming and easier to navigate for neurodivergent and differently abled people:

  • Walmart established sensory-friendly hours in all its U.S. stores in November 2023 after testing them during the 2023 back-to-school season; and
  • Starbucks announced plans in March 2022 to promote greater inclusivity for differently abled employees and customers via design and technology in its stores. The retailer announced it would use its Inclusive Spaces Framework in all newly opened and renovated stores in February 2024.

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