Being an Akron Marathon volunteer took on new meaning this year when our THRIVE employee business resource group (EBRG) – which serves FirstEnergy's employees with disabilities and major illnesses – helped make the 2019 FirstEnergy Akron Marathon the first-ever sensory inclusive marathon. Sensory inclusion accommodates those with sensory challenges associated with conditions like autism, PTSD, Parkinson’s disease and early onset dementia. In the event that a scene becomes too overwhelming, guests have a safe space to ease the mind and calm the senses.
Thanks to a partnership with KultureCity, a non-profit organization with a mission to revolutionize and effect change in the sensory-needs community, the Akron Marathon offered a Sensory Activation Vehicle near the race finish line. Furnished with bean bags and textured walls, individuals of all ages could visit the vehicle for a quiet and comforting break from the race environment. Members of FirstEnergy’s THRIVE EBRG were onsite at the Sensory Activation Vehicle to be a resource to those with sensory needs.