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All LEGO stores in the US and Canada to be certified as sensory inclusive

LEGO kicked off World Autism Acceptance Month with a batch of long-term initiatives championing neurodivergent kids and adults. In April 2024, all LEGO stores in the US and Canada will be certified 'KultureCity Sensory Inclusive' — signaling a safe and supportive environment for visitors with sensory sensitivities — with plans to expand certification to other countries. KultureCity is a nonprofit focused on accessibility for people with sensory needs and non-visible disabilities. It certifies stores and other public spaces that train staff on neurodiversity and provide support tools like noise-reducing headphones and fidget tools. 

In addition to working on the sensory inclusiveness of its brick-and-mortar stores, LEGO released Love the Way You Think, a series of short films featuring autistic creators, and announced the winners of LEGO Foundation's Play for All Accelerator. The USD 20 million program backs innovative efforts to 'bring inclusive learning through play to neurodivergent children and their families.' Winners include Little Journey, an app focused on reducing anxiety surrounding healthcare interactions, and Social Cipher, a game helping kids develop social and emotional learning skills without masking or erasing their neurodiverse traits.

Dive deeper

For a closer look at designing spaces for people with autism and sensory issues, listen to 99% Invisible's recent episode on the topic, Autism Pleasantville. The podcast visits Mesa, Arizona — a city certified as autism-friendly — and speaks with architect Magda Mostafa, who created the Autism ASPECTSS Design Index, a set of evidence-based design guidelines addressing sensory inclusion in built environments.

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Robbie Hodges