A crowd of people waiting to enter The Universal Sphere.

The Universal Sphere on the Comcast Center Campus Is Named a Certified Autism Center™

Philadelphia, PA

Comcast today announced that The Universal Sphere, located in the Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia, will further expand its accessibility offerings with the launch of a sensory-friendly experience on Thanksgiving Day.

The sensory-friendly version will incorporate technical updates to create a more welcoming experience for autistic or sensory-sensitive people, and those with social, learning, or cognitive needs. Guests who request a sensory-friendly experience can expect modifications to sound levels, reduced movements, and lighting adjustments to reduce blue light and eliminate flashing.

The launch of the sensory-friendly experience is the latest enhancement to The Universal Sphere’s accessibility offerings. In 2021, The Universal Sphere earned designation as a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The certification demonstrates Comcast’s ongoing commitment to creating accessible, inclusive experiences across a wide range of products and services for all.

“Comcast has a longstanding commitment to accessibility that touches every area of our company," says Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President of Accessibility at Comcast. “We believe passionately in the power of creating experiences that can be enjoyed by everyone. The Universal Sphere is a great example of Comcast NBCUniversal bringing together inclusive technology and a showstopping entertainment experience to do just that.”

We’re proud and honored to have The Universal Sphere designated as a Certified Autism Center by the IBCCES, and to launch a new sensory-friendly experience.
Tom Wlodkowski
Vice President of Accessibility at Comcast

The CAC designation is a recognition of our efforts to make The Universal Sphere an even more accessible experience that welcomes all visitors. The certification process required extensive specialized staff training to better communicate, understand, and enhance the experience for autistic and other neurodiverse visitors. The IBCCES also performed an on-site review to create a sensory guide resource to help individuals better understand its sensory impacts prior to visiting.

“IBCCES is thrilled to work with the team at The Universal Sphere to create a more inclusive experience,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES’ Board Chairman. “Our goal is to help ensure that autistic individuals and their families can have fun and make lasting memories. We know the team at The Universal Sphere is dedicated to providing an exciting and inspiring experience for all visitors.”

The Universal Sphere, which has drawn in thousands of visitors since opening in 2019, is a free cinematic experience that engages audiences and explores the power of ideas. From Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Animation, Universal Parks & Resorts, and Comcast Labs, the inspiring short film “The Power of I” is presented in a public theater in the upper lobby of the building.

Designed to be an inclusive and welcoming experience for the widest audience possible, The Universal Sphere is wheelchair-accessible and service-animal friendly, and offers closed captioning and audio description, with full translations available in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

Guests can reserve and download complimentary tickets, request accessibility services, and plan their trip by visiting TheUniversalSphere.com. The Universal Sphere is open year-round, with extended hours during the holiday season, and located in the Comcast Technology Center at 1800 Arch St. in Philadelphia.