Becoming a Zoo for All
ZOO ATLANTA LAUNCHES ITS LATEST EFFORT TOWARD BECOMING A ZOO FOR ALL
Enhancements at the African Savanna will provide a rich new experience for guests for are deaf or hard of hearing or blind and visually impaired.
ATLANTA – March 18, 2022 – As part of an ongoing commitment to being a Zoo for All, Zoo Atlanta announces enhancements to its newest experience that will help connect guests who are deaf or hard of hearing or blind and visually impaired to animals and the broader conservation mission of the Zoo. Opened on March 18, 2022, new interpretive elements at the African Savanna create an immersive experience that promote accessibility. The project was completed with the support of The UPS Foundation and in collaboration with the Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Center for the Visually Impaired.
“Our commitment to being a Zoo for All is a key aspect of Zoo Atlanta’s mission to ensure that the rich resources, educational opportunities, and experiences are accessible to all people, regardless of ability,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “We are very grateful to The UPS Foundation for their support of this project, as well as to our partners at the Georgia Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Center for the Visually Impaired for joining us today for what we hope will be one of many future endeavors to underscore this important part of our mission.”
Zoo Atlanta heightened its existing diversity efforts in 2019 with the establishment of a new Diversity and Inclusion Committee of its Board of Directors, as well as created a new Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. As part of this plan, a Community Access Standard was put in place to ensure that Zoo Atlanta’s policies, practices, and outreach efforts promote partnership with social service agencies, school systems, and nonprofits throughout the community to broaden Zoo access to groups and individuals who may not otherwise be able to visit.
Home to African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs, meerkats, and southern white rhinos, the African Savanna is the Zoo’s largest habitat transformation to date. The accessibility initiative is just the first step in Zoo Atlanta’s work to provide accessibility for audiences with differing abilities. Learnings from the project will form the foundation for future similar enhancements in other areas of the Zoo.
In addition to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Board of Directors, Zoo Atlanta also has an internal Diversity and Inclusion Committee comprised of Zoo team members. The committee focuses on accessibility and inclusion within the Zoo’s workforce and human resources policies; community engagement and outreach efforts; and supplier and partner diversity efforts.
Learn more about Zoo Atlanta’s mission at zooatlanta.org.
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About Zoo Atlanta
A proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the gold standard for animal care and welfare, Zoo Atlanta has a mission to save wildlife and their habitats through conservation, research, education, and engaging experiences. The Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 200 species from around the world, many of them endangered or critically endangered. Highlights include giant pandas, including Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the only giant panda twins in the U.S.; one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Recent transformations include the African Savanna, featuring expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs, meerkats, and rhinos; Savanna Hall, a state-of-the-art special event destination in the restored historic former home of the Atlanta Cyclorama; and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Plaza. For more information, visit zooatlanta.org.