The most successful sensory room designs are those based on the needs of the learners who use the space.
Here’s where the ‘AAA’ principles of room design fit in:
Availability: Your multisensory tools and equipment need to be available when you need them – and to work first time. It’s frustrating to reach a ‘breakthrough’ moment, only for it to be ruined when you can’t find the right tool, or it doesn’t work! Good storage, organisation and regular maintenance are essential. Do you need a multisensory room coordinator?
Appropriateness: Does your multisensory room suit the learning strengths and needs of the learners using it? Is differentiation of the curriculum easy to achieve in your sensory room? You may be projecting large images for a geography lesson, but do you have small tactile objects available for those kinaesthetic/tactile learners?
Achievability – Is your sensory space a flexible, immersive space that can be changed in an instant? Simplicity is the best way forward. Why have lots of complicated equipment, which no-one will use when you can have a few easy to operate and effective multisensory tools that will be in continuous use?
Designing a multisensory room – 7 key questions
Here are 7 key questions to consider when designing a multisensory room:
- Do you need an innovative ‘blank canvas’ sensory studio?
- Would a traditional multisensory room benefit your learners?
- In either room, have you developed a set of ‘tools’ to enable the practitioner to create new sensory learning experiences?
- What are the learning strengths of your learners?
- Do you have equipment that is easy to control and operate by the practitioner?
- Have you a space that enables easy access to the curriculum – at any level?
- Is this a space to achieve simple control of sensory experiences by learners and staff alike?
Remember, the most successful sensory room designs are those based on the needs of the learners who use the space.