Imagine being in a darkened room with foam mats on the floor and a pattern of lights rotating across the walls. There is soothing music playing and a delightful scent coming from an aromatherapy machine. You are attracted to the various pieces of equipment that are lit up and invite you to touch and interact with them. The effect of the room is both relaxing and stimulating at the same time. You are in a Snoezelen Room. As part of our Residential Services, each of our service regions has a Snoezelen Room.
Snoezelen (pronounced SNOOZE-e-len), derived from the Dutch words for "to doze" and "to sniff", is a room designed to give those with developmental disabilities and sensory impairments a multi-sensory experience. A Snoezelen Room provides a full range of sensory stimulation and enjoyable experiences in an atmosphere of trust and relaxation. In a safe, comfortable environment, the primary senses are stimulated by wonderful combinations of music, light, gentle vibrations, tactile sensations, and aromatherapy.
Participants can actively explore, absorb, and exercise control on their own terms. Multi-sensory rooms can open up a whole new world for individuals with sensory impairments. Time spent in a sensory room has been shown to increase concentration, alertness, calmness, and general awareness of the surrounding world.
Benefits of a Snoezelen Room include, but are not limited to:
- Relaxation, leisure and enjoyment
- Stimulation of primary senses
- Increases physical contact with caregivers
- Allows participants to explore, develop, choose and have some opportunity to control their environment.
- Encourages physical movement and motivation
- Reduces tactile defensive and self-injurious behaviours
A Snoezelen Room enhances the quality of life for our clients by creating an environment that is either stimulating or calming, depending on their choice. Due to the generosity of donors, DeafBlind Ontario Services is fortunate to have one Snoezelen Room in 5 of our regions for our clients to enjoy. One of these rooms is a shared room in partnership with Bob Rumball Homes for the Deaf in Barrie. Tactile wall murals have also been added to some of these rooms by a visual artist.