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Oakland Museum of California Furthers Its Accessibility Efforts As A Certified  KultureCity Sensory Inclusive Organization and Adopts AIRA Visual Interpreting Application

Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) has announced its partnership with two organizations to make the Museum’s visitor experience more accessible. As a result of the partnerships,  KultureCity®, the nation’s leading nonprofit on sensory accessibility and acceptance for those with invisible disabilities, has certified OMCA as a Sensory InclusiveTM institution, the first organization in Oakland to be so. The Museum has also adopted Aira, a visual interpreting service application that provides live, on-demand visual information for inclusion and accessibility.

“We are thrilled to partner with KultureCity® and Aira to advance our efforts to create a more accessible experience for our community,” said Lori Fogarty, CEO and Director of Oakland Museum of California. “The work of inclusion and accessibility is never done. We are constantly learning how to be better partners and stewards to our Oakland community and beyond.” 

“Our communities shape our lives and to know that Oakland Museum of California is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in community experiences is amazing,” said Uma Srivastava, Executive Director, KultureCity.® “We’re honored to partner with OMCA to provide a truly inclusive experience for all clients!”


The KultureCity® Sensory InclusiveTM certification process ensures that the staff and volunteers of OMCA are trained by leading medical professionals on how to recognize those with clients’ sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. KultureCity® Sensory Bags are equipped with noise-canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, verbal cue cards and KCVIP lanyard, and will be introduced in May and available to all visitors of OMCA.

Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. One of the major barriers for these individuals is sensitivity to over stimulation and noise, which can be a major part of the events or services at an organization like OMCA. With its new certification, OMCA is now better prepared to assist with sensory sensitivities in having the most comfortable and accommodating experience possible.

Prior to their visit, families and individuals can download the free KultureCity® App where they can view what sensory features are available and where they can access them including how to get a KultureCity® Sensory Bag. The Social Story feature on the app will provide a customized visual preview of what to expect while visiting OMCA.


Aira is a visual interpreting service application (app) that provides live, on-demand visual information for inclusion and accessibility. The app supports visitors who are blind or have visual impairments with reading interpretive materials in real time, navigating the Museum, and participating in other onsite activities at the Museum, such as events, programming, the Town Fare cafe, the OMCA parking garage, and more. For anyone who enters the museum campus, live support would be available via the Aira app. 

Once visitors enter the Museum campus, their smartphone notifies them that they have entered an Aira Access Area. At this point, visitors can download the app for support and use the application at no cost to them. Visitors can sign up with their phone number, and access support with a live agent on the phone. The live agent can also access the camera on the visitor’s device to help navigate or read instructional or interpretive materials. This service will be introduced for visitors’ use at OMCA starting in mid-May of 2023.