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Sense Spaces

 


The SENSE Spaces Team has evolved from its initial inception as the SMILE Team. The aim of this team is to explore the potential for multi-sensory environments (MSEs) for different community segments. We know that MSE allow users to control their sensory experiences. This may result in stimulation or relaxation of the primary senses depending on the equipment chosen.

Multi-sensory environments often contain equipment such as fibre optics sprays, bubble tubes, music, colour, lighting and aroma boards which can be used by users to provide either calming or stimulatory experiences.

The initial catalyst for this project was a needs assessment conducted by CareWays Community that showed a need for a multi-sensory environment at the Horsely Community Centre. Researchers at the University of Wollongong worked with CareWays Community to establish a multisensory room that met the needs of the community. The CareWays Community Sensory Room officially opened on July 1, 2017.

The team have collaborated on a UOW Community Engagement Grant to establish a website that provides guidance to both individuals and organisations who want to create a multi-sensory space for their home or community.

Funding received in 2019 will be used to examine the immediate and lasting impact of using an MSE. The introduction of a design thinking approach with a coordinated communications plan will be used to drive this phase of the research.

 

 

Sensory room

Multi-sensory environments provide a safe, non-threatening environment for people with cognitive, behavioural and physical impairments to engage in a range of sensory experiences. The experiences provided by a MSE can both calm and stimulate the primary senses using sensory-based materials such as fibre optics sprays, bubble tubes, music, colour, lighting and aroma.

Publications

  • Cameron, A., Burns, P., Garner, A., Lau, S., Dixon, R., Pascoe, C., & Szafraniec, M. (2019). Making Sense of Multi-Sensory Environments: A Scoping Review. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 00(00), 1–27. https://doi.org/10.1080/1034912X.2019.1634247
  • Mayersen, D., Dixon, R., Lau, S., Garner, A., Burns, P., Cameron, A., Pascoe, C. & Szafraniec, M. 2019, ""She Would Love That": Identifying Community Needs in a Multisensory Environment", Progress in Community Health Partnerships, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 5-6. http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/10.1353/cpr.2019.0002

The team


Project Management Team

  • Dr Holly Tootell, School of Computing and Information Technology, Faculty of Engineering and Information Systems
  • Dr Pippa Burns, School of  Medicine, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health
  • Dr Grant Ellmers, School of the Arts, English and Media, Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Dr Sue Slowikowski, School of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Business and Law
  • Mr Michael Szafraniec, Operations Manager, Careways Community

Advisory Group

  • Assoc Prof. Rose Dixon, School of Education, Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Dr Sim Lau, School of Computing and Information Technology, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences
  • Dr Andrea Garner, Leader of Teaching and Learning, Alesco Illawarra
  • Mrs Carly Pascoe, Community Engagement Officer, Wollongong City Council

Collaborating Team Members

  • Mr Jade Kennedy, Indigenous Knowledges, Learning, Teaching and Curriculum
  • Ms Jaymee Beveridge, Director, Woolyungah Indigenous Centre
  • Ms Martha Johnson, Manager Education & Experiences, Early Start Discovery Space
  • Mr Matt Ball, Volunteer & Community Coordinator, Early Start Discovery Space
  • Dr Jane Warren, School of Education, Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Dr Karen Tonge, School of Education, Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Mrs Naomi Sheridan, PhD Candidate, School of Computing and Information Technology

 

This project is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3, Good Health and Wellbeing    Goal 10 Reduced inequalities    Goal 17, Partnerships for the Goals.

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