Inclusive experience sparks Easter joy at hundreds of shopping destinations in U.S.
New Jersey (March 20, 2023): This spring, people with autism and other sensory differences can enjoy a tradition that many families take for granted: visiting the Easter Bunny. Bunny Cares, a program by Cherry Hill Programs and Autism Speaks, is hosting sensory-friendly events across the United States, on Sunday, March 26th at participating locations – just in time to kick off World Autism Month.
Sights, sounds and crowds can be overwhelming for some people with autism, who may have sensory differences. At Bunny Cares events, Cherry Hill Programs and participating venue hosts work to address sensory concerns by hosting the event outside of traditional operating hours to lessen crowds, while also ensuring that lighting and music volume are at a comforting level. To eliminate long wait times, families can reserve a timeslot with Bunny, who has received training to understand and support the needs of people with autism.
“We are committed to serving our communities and providing opportunities to enhance experiences that not all people can easily enjoy. With Autism Speaks, we train our staff and Bunny to remain flexible and sensitive to this audience. Simply allowing extra time for each visitor to experience the ultimate Easter tradition is something we’re extremely humbled to provide,” said Chris Landtroop, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Cherry Hill Programs.
“At Autism Speaks, we aim to create a world where all people with autism can reach their full potential. We are grateful to have the ongoing support of Cherry Hill Programs to offer a sensory-friendly environment for the spring holiday season where all people on the spectrum can feel comfortable, relish in special moments and make new memories,” said Jennifer Schell Podoll, Autism Speaks Senior Vice President of Constituent Engagement. “Inclusive events like Bunny Cares create welcoming experiences for our families and increase understanding and acceptance of autistic people.”
Cherry Hill Programs is committed to the Magic of Giving – a campaign launched in 2021 to enhance their philanthropic efforts by building a collaborative community that believes in the power of giving back to causes that matter. Since 2015, Cherry Hill Programs holiday photo experiences have collected more than $1M to support Autism Speaks’ mission, which includes providing research, advocacy efforts, services and support to individuals with autism. Cherry Hill Programs is proud to continue supporting Autism Speaks by collecting donations on their behalf at photo experiences and at whereisbunny.com this spring.
A caring mother and Bunny Cares guest shared, “As a single parent of a child with autism, it is difficult to offer my daughter some of the opportunities that other children have access to. With your support, she was able to enjoy a special moment that I will cherish forever. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing my little girl to experience the magic of the Easter Bunny.”
People of all ages and abilities are welcome. While visits are free, photo packages are available for purchase. To register for a sensory-friendly event, visit whereisbunny.com.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. We now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. Most are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences, and many are accompanied by medical issues such as GI disorders, seizures and sleep disturbances. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 1 in 44 children is on the autism spectrum.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. To find resources, join an event or donate, go to www.AutismSpeaks.org. Learn more by following @AutismSpeaks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
About Cherry Hill Programs
Cherry Hill Programs captures the Magic to celebrate moments for a lifetime! In partnership with famous landmarks, attractions, signature retail venues, and hotel destinations, CHP is the industry-leader in experiential photography, providing virtual, digital, and live holiday + souvenir photography experiences in venues across North America. Through a combination of proprietary reservation software, innovative technology, accessible download portals and complete photography operation implementation - from recruiting and training to collaborative marketing - our mission is simple: to bring magic to every experience.
Cherry Hill Programs
Chris Landtroop, Vice President | Marketing & Communications
Francesca Cascardo, Manager Communications & Public Relations