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Creating a Sensory Room

Date 4/15/2020

A sensory room is a therapeutic space with a variety of equipment that provides students with special needs a personalized sensory input; to help them calm and focus themselves so they can be better prepared for learning and interacting with others. Children with sensory disorders can often experience sensory overload triggered in numerous ways that can be frightening for them. A safe calming environment with the appropriate equipment can help children with sensory disorders understand how to strengthen coping skills that better prepare them for future incidents. Sensory rooms often have dim lighting, soothing colors, swings, and equipment like weighted blankets and vests. While some students need to calm down, others may need to recharge his or her "battery" through activities specifically designed for his or her abilities. The goal is to essentially stimulate each child's brain as he or she needs it, so that following their time in the sensory room the child is actively ready to learn and receive information in the classroom.

The Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI) is a nationally recognized school known for its innovative programming and exceptional blind and low vision specialists who have expertise in educating students with visual impairments. However, the need to serve a growing population of visually impaired children with additional sensory and mobility challenges such as autism, ADHD and other sensory processing disorders, due to a recent population shift, prompted a big community effort this year. It became apparent through numerous discussions with ISBVI leadership that the creation of a sensory room for children ages 3-11 was necessary to truly meet the diverse learning needs of children in the pre-school and elementary grades at the school.

The Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation assembled a small committee of individuals who started meeting monthly in late 2019 to figure out ways to make this sensory room a reality. We are thankful to our sensory room committee members and friends at Custom Living for helping us devise and execute a renovation plan, select the appropriate equipment based on our students' needs and assist in our fundraising efforts. The following video showcases how local company, Custom Living, not only made a big difference in the lives of our students, but also leveraged business partnerships to assist in this significant renovation.

 

Thank you to our current supporters: Custom Living, Tom Lazzara, Nicholas H. Noyes Jr. Memorial Foundation, The JC Benkert Charitable Fund, The McCaw Family Foundation, Carmel Glass & Mirror, Jack Laurie Home Floor Designs, Lowe's, Sherwin Williams, Dr. Stephanie Jackson-Colbert and 12 Stars Media

We have $5000 left to raise to ensure our students have the appropriate sensory equipment designed for their needs. For those of you who are experiencing financial hardships of your own, we know that this is not the time to give. But for those of you who are able to help, any level of support makes a difference and is greatly appreciated.

Motivated by Custom Living and their efforts to leverage business partners? Share your thoughts about businesses in our community that might be able to help by participating in this short 5-10 minute survey. IBCF wants to learn more about our supporters, their reasons for giving and engagement, as well as align with future supporters to grow the community around our students.