Large print and tactile Braille maps are available for checkout upon request at Guest Services, courtesy of the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind.
Sensory backpacks, made possible by a grant from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums and the R. Harold Burton Foundation, are available for checkout at Guest Services on a first-come-first-serve basis. Each kit includes a number of items that may be helpful for visiting the Zoo with a child who is blind or has low vision (see below for backpack inventory). Kits are free for checkout during your Zoo visit, but require a valid driver’s license and contact information to ensure the backpacks are returned for future guests. We recommend renting a wagon or bringing your own so as to lay out the items in the backpack and have easier access to them during your visit.
The following is a listing of all accessible tactile statues and signs in the Zoo, categorized by exhibit.
Nature pathway includes bronze statues of Utah native animals just across the fence line. The following are statues that can be reached from the pathway, over the fence.
Play area includes concrete statues of Utah native animals.
“Hope Springs,” a sensory mosaic funded by a generous grant from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, and created by community artist Roger Whiting and the children of Matt’s Place.
The following social story is designed for guests with autism spectrum disorders to enhance their Zoo experience, but may be used by anyone.
Please note that some attractions, such as the Zoofari Express, close seasonally and that some exhibits may be loud on days that are crowded. A list of helpful hints at the end of the story can help caregivers better prepare for a Zoo visit. If you have any questions about your visit on a particular day, feel free to call member services at (801) 584-1700 to get up-to-date information.
ASD/SPD/Developmental Disabilities Backpack
Small and medium-sized weighted sensory belts are also available for checkout at Guest Services on a first-come-first-serve basis. Belts are free for checkout during your Zoo visit, but require a valid driver’s license and contact information to ensure the backpacks are returned for use for future guests.
Because it’s so important that guests remain seated throughout the World of Flight Bird Show to protect the birds, weighted lap pads and wobble cushions are available upon request. Ask the theater gate attendant for a lap pad or wobble cushion and please return it at the end of the show.
Are you a teacher with students with special needs? Utah’s Hogle Zoo offers onsite and outreach special education classes taught by a Zoo instructor. Classes include sensory experiences with animal artifacts such as pelts, skulls, eggs, as well as live ambassador animals. Class length can be tailored to the needs of your class, but have a maximum of 45 minutes. Follow the link to learn more about onsite and outreach programs for students with special needs.
Classroom sensory kits for teachers of SPED classrooms, made possible by a grant from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums and the R. Harold Burton Foundation, are available for checkout free of charge during your class field trip. Kits must be reserved at least two weeks in advance, and will be waiting at guest services on the day of your visit. After you reserve your kit, a complete inventory list will be emailed to you that you may better plan your field trip. You will need a valid photo I.D. in order to check out kits on the day of your field trip. Return the kit at guest services at the end of your field trip. Email Here to reserve your kit at least two weeks prior to your visit.
There are also teacher kits available for checkout to classrooms. These teacher kits may be checked out one at a time for two weeks, and are $10.00 to reserve. Click here to learn more information and to see a complete list of available kits.
Utah’s Hogle Zoo is proud to offer Zoo Just for You, a new program for children with special needs and an accompanying adult. Beginning in 2016, we will offer a preschool class series for children with special needs, as well as classes for children ages 6-18 who are blind/sisually impaired, deaf/hard of hearing, have autism spectrum disorders, intellectually delayed or who have physical disabilities. Check the website for class dates and availability.
*If there are other accommodations you or your family will need during your visit, please call Elise Plumley at (801) 584-4563 or email her at least two weeks in advance.