Siena welcomed some special fans at MVP Arena on January 8.
The College hosted its fourth annual Sensory Friendly and Autism Acceptance men's basketball game, which was capped off by a Saints win against Rider, 68-63.
One of the ways autism manifests itself is a sensitivity to loud or sudden noises, bright or flashing lights, and other intense sensory input. Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), migraines, fibromyalgia, ADHD/ADD, Down syndrome, and those who have suffered head injuries are also often affected.
Sunday’s game featured noise reduction, the elimination of in-game flashing videos on the scoreboard, ribbon boards, and media tables, and the dimming of arena lighting all in an effort to create a more sensory-friendly atmosphere.
Head coach Carm Maciariello '01 has championed this annual event in collaboration with New York State Assembly members Angelo Santabarbara and Mary Beth Walsh. Maciariello and the Saints were previously conferred the 2020 Autism Action Award by Santabarbara for the program’s ongoing support towards individuals with autism spectrum disorder.