When you first wake up, what’s the first sound that you hear? Maybe it’s your alarm or perhaps it's the sound of baby birds chirping outside your window as they wait for their morning breakfast… For some people, as soon as they wake up they are ambushed not just with noise but with every kind of stimuli, whether that be sights, sounds, feelings, smells or tastes. Some of these external occurrences are pleasant (such as the smell of freshly brewed coffee) but a lot of them can become overwhelming; The crying baby next door, the overcrowded lunchroom or the pungent smell of tuna which someone has kindly opened in the confined space of an office. With so many stimuli nagging at us throughout the day, regulating reactions to them can become overwhelming, resulting in a need to escape. This is particularly difficult for individuals who have not been able to develop sensory skills which monitor responses to stimulus.
UOW Global Challenges Research
Sensory Made Inclusive Leisure Environment project is an initiative at the University of Wollongong (UOW). The team includes select researchers who have diverse areas of specialty and base project development on statistical findings collected. The latest project has been researching the benefits of the multi-sensory room at the Horsley Community Centre, the CareWays Community. The room is a safe space, “For people with cognitive, behavioral and physical impairments to engage in a range of sensory experiences,” and is filled with interactive objects which engage all five senses. Unlike the outside world, where there are thousands of stimuli which provoke a response, in this room you are in control. You can dim the lights to relax your eyes, slow down the music to calm your mind and lay in a hammock to rest your body. Maybe you need a stimulating space with louder music and vibrant lights. Either way, the space is yours to create. One of the project outcomes has been the research conducted to better understand the effectiveness of such a space and its ability to support individuals with disabilities.
If we can support you through the Evenness VR Sensory Space, please contact us here.