Adelaide Zoo’s relaxed morning sessions to be extended

The SA Government has announced $10,000 in support to help the Adelaide Zoo extend its hihgly popular Relaxed Mornings program.

Adelaide Zoo has today announced that its highly popular Relaxed Zoo Mornings will extend to weekly afternoon sessions.

It comes as the SA Government confirms $10,000 in support of the sessions.

During a Relaxed Zoo Morning experience, the zoo’s gates open earlier with reduced human noises on site to ensure a quieter and calmer environment for the autism and autistic community.

As it stands, the experience is held quarterly on the third Saturday morning of month, and allows guests one and half hours to explore the zoo at their own pace before opening to the general public.

However, Chief Executive of Zoos SA, Elaine Bensted, said the organisation will offer more inclusive opportunities including extra hours and visitor experiences thanks to the Government’s support.

“We are thrilled that each of our Relaxed Zoo Mornings have been so well received by the community,” she said.

“We’ve had fabulous feedback and each has been well attended – we’ve even welcomed guests from as far afield as Mount Gambier and Port Lincoln.

“As a not-for-profit conservation charity, we are so thankful for the Government’s support of this program as it will allow us to invest in the development and installation of communication boards at Adelaide Zoo to allow guests with limited verbal communication to more easily communicate with their caregivers, our staff and other guests.

“Zoos SA staff will also undertake Autism Awareness training with Autism SA, we are looking at sensory space equipment for the zoo, developing an accessible map for visitors and hope to start looking at how we can offer a similar experience at Monarto Safari Park.”

Zoos SA is committed to increasing accessibility across its sites to ensure all visitors feel welcome and included.

Assistant Minister for Autism, the Hon Emily Bourke, said “if the most unpredictable environment, like the zoo, can create an autism friendly environment then any industry can”.

“The creation of the Assistant Minister for Autism role has created an opportunity for industry and government to work together. Connecting people with a network of knowledge,” she said.

The Relaxed Zoo Mornings program is part of Zoos SA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) charter, which aims to create an environment of diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusiveness.

The next Relaxed Zoo Morning will be held on Saturday 15 April from 8:00am.

For more information about Adelaide Zoo or to book tickets click here.

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