Press Releases June 2018


This Addition is Part of the Zoo’s Suite of Access Programs

Apple Valley, MINN – April 27, 2018 – The Minnesota Zoo is excited to launch a new free sensory-friendly mobile app called MNZoo4All, to support the Zoo experience for guests on the autism spectrum. This new app features social guides, a sensory-friendly zoo map, communication tools, a zoo-themed memory game and more. This app can be downloaded for free from App Store for iOS Devices and Google Play for Android Devices.

The Minnesota Zoo is committed to providing guests from all backgrounds and with all abilities an amazing experience before, during and after their visit. “The Minnesota Zoo is always working to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to connect with the natural world,” says John Frawley, Minnesota Zoo Director and President. “It’s important for us to provide amazing and impactful experiences for all of our guests and meet them where they are.”

The Minnesota Zoo partnered with Infiniteach to create this dynamic app for guests to enjoy.  “Infiniteach is passionate about developing apps that make experiences, such as going to the Minnesota Zoo, accessible to the autism community.  Since launching this platform in 2017, we’ve developed accessibility apps for more than a dozen cultural institutions across the country.” Says Katie Hench, co-founder and CEO of Infiniteach.  Ellie Wilson, Executive Director, Autism Society of Minnesota, says “This thoughtful, informed support tool will be such a helpful addition to their inclusion strategies for all visitors, with autism, with other disabilities or with similar needs.”

Along with the new sensory-friendly app, the Minnesota Zoo offers additional access programs including, but not limited to:

  • Free to Explore
  • Zoomobile
  • Zoo Camp partnership with AuSM for adults with autism in Dakota and Ramsey Counties

About the Minnesota Zoo

The Minnesota Zoo is a year-round destination located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. The Zoo’s mission is to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).

2. 2017 Annual Report to Congress

The Minneapolis Fed, through the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion(OMWI), released its 2017 Annual Report to Congress detailing the Bank’s workforce representation and supplier diversity data. The Bank reports that its employee demographics reflect the region’s, with 52 percent being female and 23 percent people of color.

The Bank has worked to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace through recruitment efforts, training for staff and bankwide cultural awareness events, among other activities. These efforts, supported by Human Resources, are complemented by OMWI, which is charged with developing standards and procedures to ensure inclusion of minorities, women, and minority-owned and women-owned businesses in all activities of the Bank.

The report gives senior management and policymakers metrics to consider as the Bank continues to advance an inclusive workplace and support outreach to diverse communities. “We strive to be thought leaders in everything we do, and having a diverse set of perspectives is paramount to achieving our goals,” said Michael Garrett, senior vice president of Human Resources and Inclusion. “We’ve made progress that we’re proud to share, and we are working to do even better.”

The Minneapolis Fed is headquartered in the Twin Cities, and the Bank recruits within a commutable distance for most positions. Metro area demographics provide a key metric for comparison. Bank minority staffing figures mirrored the Minneapolis-St. Paul area population by ethnicity, and external hires were even more diverse than the region’s residents in 2017.

For more on the Minneapolis Fed’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, read the full 2017 report.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System, the nation’s central bank. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is responsible for the Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis participates in setting national monetary policy, supervises numerous banking organizations, and provides a variety of payments services to financial institutions and the U.S. government.

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