A interdisciplinary team of UOW researchers is preparing to launch a multi-sensory environment (MSE) created for CareWays Community in June.

The MSE will be installed at the Horsley Community Centre for CareWays Community, a local care services provider who approached UOW’s Global Challenges Program in 2015 seeking expert help to develop a sensory room for its clients.

A multi-sensory environment is a safe, non-threatening environment for people with conditions such as cognitive, emotional or behavioural impairments. It is designed to help stimulate or calm sensory systems using light, colour, and music, and are most likely to be found in hospitals, schools, or aged-care facilities.

In order to produce a high-quality and effective MSE for CareWays Community, the help of researchers in a range of fields was enlisted.


The project’s leader, Dr Rose Dixon, from the School of Education, has said that much of their time was initially concentrated on gaining a better understanding of how a space can be best utilised, what are the needs of the users was, and what materials would be required to create a stimulating or calming environment.

“We wanted to ensure the final project was increasing services and support for people living with a disability by improving quality

of life, promoting better health outcomes, reducing challenging behaviours and providing respite time,” Dr Dixon said.

“What we found was that the community wants flexible resources that can be changed regularly to maintain interest from its users and meet the different needs we have in the community.”