Stories of Impact: Dr. Jennifer D. Smith, Clinical Psychologist, Director of the Cincinnati Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

By The Children's Theatre

“As a professional who has had the pleasure of working with children with developmental disabilities and their families for many years, I have learned that there are many barriers that these families face. The world is chaotic and overstimulating. Society caters to those who “fit in.” Those with any differences are often met with judgement, which can lead to isolation and the desire to retreat to what is comfortable. This is especially true for families of children with developmental disabilities. These families have limited opportunities for community inclusion, not because of their child’s disability, but because of the way the world is built around them.”

“The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati has recognized their role in ensuring that community inclusion is a right for ALL patrons by making theatre accessible to children with developmental disabilities and their families. Our families want the same opportunities offered to everyone else. TCT’s Sensory-Friendly performances provide a welcoming, judgement-free environment where families can make precious memories together. By making a few small modifications to sound, lighting, and crowd size, TCT has opened up live theatre to a new audience that is often overlooked.”

“I have been impressed by TCT’s commitment to community inclusion and their desire to approach this work in a thoughtful and systematic manner by engaging families and experienced professionals from the beginning. I have gained invaluable insights into how live theatre can connect with children in a priceless way. “

“We at the Cincinnati LEND program at Cincinnati Children’s are proud to be a part of TCT’s Sensory-Friendly performances. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration with TCT as we strive to make Cincinnati the most inclusive and accessible city in the country.”