Discover Hannah's, a care centre in Devon for children and young adults with profound and multiple physical and learning difficulties, approached Experia for a tailored sensory room for its residents at its specialist adult services area, Hannahwood.
Aimed at helping young people to live more independently and prepare them for community life, Hannahwood provides care, therapy and learning opportunities for adults aged 19 and over, focusing on the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
They required a sensory room that could be used by all of their young adult residents who have a wide range of abilities. The individuals who will use the sensory room range from those who are able to walk independently, to others who have very restricted body movement, and so the equipment had to be accessible and meaningful to all.
Experia's IRiS technology was founded on the principle of accessibility: No one should be barred from using the system; there must be a switch and a reward for everyone. The principle of the system is that any switch (IRiS Talker), whether that's the fine movement sensors such as those on Experia's unique IRiS+ app (available on both Apple and now Android devices) or voice/sound recognition switches, up to gross motor movement controls such as stepping on a pressure sensitive pad or throwing the soft play Qube across the room, can be paired with any IRiS multisensory product of your choosing. This means that there is both a way of controlling the equipment and a meaningful result, for everyone, regardless of their abilities or the sensory experience that motivates them.
Being able to control their surroundings promotes self-awareness among users and allows individuals to increase their skills in a calm environment.
Bex Marshall, Activities and Events Manager at Discover Hannah's, said:
"The sensory room has had a huge impact on a range of users here in Hannahwood and helps encourage independence amongst users, allowing them to stay in their peer groups to learn. We use the room for our weekly college groups as it provides a chilled-out atmosphere which increases engagement with tasks.
"The fact that our sensory room is controlled by different gadgets including a dice, iPad and switches, means that we are able to build an experience based on the users’ personal goals and needs.
"The room has had a great effect on users' behaviours, especially in helping some users come out of agitated behaviour. The young adults who use the room feel empowered as they are able to control the settings and we’ve seen a positive reaction from those who wouldn't normally have used the room thanks to the environmental controls."
As well as being accessible and easy to use, Experia’s IRiS equipment is completely open-ended and future-proofed. Additional talkers (switches) and/or listeners (multisensory products) can be added to an IRiS sensory room whenever you decide, and will interact with all other IRiS products.
And all new IRiS products will continue to be compatible with existing older IRiS products for as long as we continue to build them!