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On June 16, the class of 2023 at UCLA had their first-ever sensory-inclusive graduation ceremony that was created by a partnership between Randall Park, a UCLA alumni, and KultureCity. Actor Randall Pak is best known for his role as the father from “Fresh off the Boat,” and Jimmy Woo from the Ant-Man movies and “WandaVision.” Park was first introduced to KultureCity through basketball legend Dominique Wilkins. 

I learned from him about the kinds of disabilities that people can’t necessarily see on the surface. I could identify with that because my daughter is on the autism spectrum. So he introduced me to the heads of KultureCity, and they invited me and my wife to join the board. We wanted to be part of it because the work they do is just so special.

Randall Park, Q&A: Why actor Randall Park is bringing sensory inclusion to UCLA graduation
(Photo by Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Brooks Brothers)

When UCLA asked Park to give the commencement speech, he wanted to connect the organization with UCLA to make the ceremony inclusive to everyone. Graduation ceremonies are among the numerous kinds of events that can be very over stimulating to those with sensory challenges. KultureCity is a nonprofit organization that works to bring inclusivity and accessibility to those with invisible disabilities. One of their main features is their Sensory Activation Vehicle (S.A.V.E.), which is a sensory room where people can relax and escape the overwhelming environment of a concert, baseball game, or in this case, a graduation ceremony. 

The latest US Census data shows that one in six people have a sensory need or an invisible disability such as autism, dementia, PTSD, or hearing or vision loss. People with invisible disabilities (ID) tend to react differently and get overwhelmed more easily than neurotypical individuals due to various sensory sensitivities.

KultureCity Sensory Inclusive Certification | West Valley City, UT – Official Site

KultureCity’s mission is to create sensory accessibility and inclusion for those with invisible disabilities. In their video of participants who used their sensory activation vehicles, one little girl was amazed at how these solutions made certain environments possible for those with sensory needs.

“This is actually a really good place for kids with autism, and you can hang out here. Some kids don’t get to do things like this and go to events like this, and this is how you can.” 

Sensory Activation Vehicle (S.A.V.E)

To read more, go to; Sensory Inclusion at UCLA Graduation Ceremony
Stephanie Koo

Stephanie Koo

As someone who has been involved with E-Sports since 2007, Stephanie saw the opportunity to expand inclusion to other areas of interest. With a degree in Environmental Science from SJSU and a photography background, she was inspired to start and build E-Gardening and E-Photography. She’s excited to continue to bring E-Life into new creative territories and areas of need.