Ingenious

24 June 2016 

New BT sensory room uses technology to improve young lives

sensory room

BT has poured its technology know how into creating a new multi-sensory room to boost the lives of young people.

Back in 2010 BT teamed up with Lord’s Taverners to form a partnership that’s since invested more than £500k to create 25 special multi-sensory rooms across the UK.

The latest school to benefit is Cedar Lodge in Belfast, which caters for 216 pupils with a wide range of learning and physical disabilities along with associated difficulties. These include autism, communication problems and sensory impairment.

Stimulating environment

Multi-sensory equipment such as such as lighting, sound effects, mirrors, bubble tubes, fibre optic multi-coloured strands, soft mattresses, music and aromatic oils can help children develop communication and physical skills, build friendships and increase confidence.

It can also help with the development of emotional responses and improve basic numeracy and literacy skills.

The rooms can also significantly support children with sensory impairment, helping enhance development of senses such as hearing, sight, smell and touch.

Lois Little, principal at Cedar Lodge School, explained how the new BT funded room will work.

“The new sensory room will enhance the educational provision for our pupils by enabling us to deliver purposeful sensory programmes within a multi-sensory environment. While beneficial in stimulating the senses to increase attention levels and involvement it can also promote well-being by reducing anxiety and sensory overload through encouraging relaxation.

“In addition to providing individual programmes, the multi-sensory equipment will allow us to adopt a multi-sensory approach to learning and teaching. They will be used for planned sensory curricular activities by incorporating drama, stories and music linked to visual display themes such as 'under the sea', 'outer space' and 'our wonderful world.'

Technology releases potential and enriches lives

BT has invested £25,000 in the development of the new sensory room at Cedar Lodge School. This is the second school in Northern Ireland to receive a BT sensory room following the installation in Harberton School in Belfast.

Alex Crossan, managing director BT Northern Ireland Networks, said: “Our purpose as Northern Ireland’s leading communications service company is to use the power of communications to improve the world we operate in and to help young people achieve their potential. To that end, I am delighted that our partnership with the Lord’s Taverners continues to flourish, with today’s BT sensory room at Cedar Lodge School in Belfast opening another step on our journey to enhancing the lives of thousands of young people with disabilities.”

Paul Robin, chief executive of the Lord’s Taverners, added: “The Lord’s Taverners is dedicated to giving young people a sporting chance so we are delighted to work with BT to try and reach our goal of helping over 18,000 young people with disabilities across the UK by 2020. This new sensory room will benefit the teachers, carers and families of Cedar Lodge School’s students and enhance the learning experience and future development of its pupils.”

Watch a short video about the BT sensory room.