Western Australia’s premier indoor venue, RAC Arena, has recently completed an extensive list of upgrades to align with the start of the National Basketball League on Friday 3 December.
This day also marks International Day of People with Disability, a fitting date to open the venue’s newly created Quiet Room. The room provides a safe and peaceful place for those needing a break from the sometimes overwhelming noise and crowds of live events.
Collaboratively designed with the Autism Association of WA, the room ensures that members of the community with sensory sensitivities can more comfortably enjoy live sport and entertainment. The Quiet Room features bean bags, cuddle chairs and a soothing water feature, so patrons can be calmed in a way that suits their needs.
Tasha Alach, Director of Therapy and Clinical Services at the Autism Association of WA explains “Large events can often be overwhelming for individuals with Autism and other sensory sensitivities. Having a safe space for them to visit when they feel overwhelmed, creates a place of safety and calmness and enables them to enjoy the experience. Everyone deserves to be able to participate in their favourite activities and it has been exciting to partner with the RAC Arena in developing the Quiet Room and creating inclusion for all. This Quiet Room at the arena is just the beginning and will set the standard for inclusion in our WA community.”
Michael Scott, RAC Arena General Manager said, ‘We have, of course, always been compliant at RAC Arena but we want to go beyond that and are working towards achieving best practice in this space. The venue was made for the people of Western Australia and we want everyone to feel welcome and be able to enjoy the world-class events that we host. The introduction of the Quiet Room is a symbol of our commitment to inclusion and is just the beginning of our plans to increase accessibility at our venue.”
VenuesWest CEO David Etherton welcomed the addition of a Quiet Room, “As WA’s premier indoor venue, RAC Arena has always provided an exceptional experience for all visitors. The creation of a Quiet Room is a great example of the venue’s ongoing commitment in providing an accessible and inclusive event experience for all.”
Patrons with mobility issues will be further assisted when attending events, with 410 locally produced handrails installed in stairways across the arena bowl.
Parents and carers will be able to care for their children in a purpose-built parent room, complete with changing tables, private feeding areas and equipment to assist with preparing food for young ones.
For sports fans, the lighting system has been enhanced, with 134 new light fittings replacing 164 less efficient versions, reducing the venue’s overall energy requirements.
The current pandemic, and reduced event calendar, has afforded RAC Arena the time to source and install innovative equipment throughout the venue and upgrade existing facilities. Venue staff have contributed over 5,000 hours of labour in areas such as drafting, project management, rigging, electrical work and general labour, ensuring staff continued to have meaningful work while reducing costs.
Mr Etherton said, “COVID-19 situation significantly changed operations for RAC Arena, and although no one likes to see an empty venue, the down time has been well used to ensure the venue continues to meet and exceed fans’ expectations.”
For a full list of coming events at RAC Arena please visit racarena.com.au