The Ability Hub has recently developed a multi-sensory environment for use by participants. The room was designed to offer a fun, motivating and engaging environment that can provide sensory stimulation across multiple senses. Variables such as light, sound, and tactile input (sense of touch, vibration) can be controlled in order to increase or decrease the amount and intensity of the input, in order to utilize the room in a calming or stimulating capacity.
A session in the multi-sensory environment is designed to be participant led so that they are able to experience self-choice and explore the cause-effect nature of the room. The role of the facilitator is to support, engage, and encourage interaction between both the participant and the equipment and the participant and facilitator. The multi-sensory environment can therefore be used to: enhance the therapeutic relationship by increasing engagement and interaction between participant and facilitator; provide calming input for participants who have high levels of anxiety or apprehension about new situations; provide proactive stimulating sensory input for those who are seeking the input in less productive ways; and provide an opportunity to receive sensory stimulation for the more passive individual who may not be receiving sufficient sensory stimulation in natural contexts.
The multi-sensory environment at the Ability Hub includes a colour changing bubble tube, a sound system connected to a vibrasonic mat with fiber optic lights, a fiber optic curtain/waterfall, a fiber optic spray, a visually stimulating black-light sensitive carpet, a star projector and a standard projector.