1) What Room?
Free space in schools and facilities is always at a premium. So you may not have a range of options when planning a Sensory Room.
However, the following factors should be considered:
- Ideally, the room should be solely dedicated to Sensory use
- It should be in a quieter part of the building away from busy hallways
- A windowless room or a room with smaller windows would work best
The larger the room, the better. It will allow for interaction by a wide range of users with numerous sensory products
2) Environmental Factors
Once your room is identified, check the air circulation, temperature and lighting. Since Sensory Room equipment may increase the temperature in the room, you want to either have a dedicated thermostat in the room and/or great air circulation via a fan or vents. In addition, the room’s lighting should be low and soothing. Avoid using fluorescent lights which create noise, flickering and harsh lighting.
3) Interior Design
Walls, ceilings and floors all play a key role in setting the tone for your Sensory Room.
- Floors – Carpeting adds warmth and comfort to a Sensory Room. However, if individuals in wheelchairs will be using the room, you want to make sure that the flooring does not impede the wheelchair from moving about the room. A combination of flooring and carpets would be the ideal choice: carpeting in specific areas or zones and vinyl flooring as a pathway around the room.
- Walls and ceilings – If you are planning to use projectors that show colorful images on the walls and/or ceilings, then white would be the best color choice. However, if you plan to use ultraviolet lights, then a dark colored wall would better show the fluorescent effects.
Ensure that you have enough electrical outlets throughout the room.
Ideally, each outlet would have its own on/off wall switch. For ease of use, locate the wall switches together at a convenient, accessible place in the Sensory Room. This gives you complete control over the equipment.
5) Sensory Room Equipment & Design
Now that you have your room selected and basic design completed, it’s time to design the Sensory Room. Enabling Devices offers free Design Services. To begin the process, complete our detailed Sensory Room questionnaire and submit it to Karen Gallichio at firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax at 914-747-3480.