Bank of Valletta is fully supporting the setting up of a Multi-Sensory room at the Esplora Interactive Science Centre through an agreement between the Bank and the Malta Council for Science and Technology.
Multi-Sensory environments are specifically designed spaces that empower people with a disability to make the most out of a learning experience through fun and relaxing sensory experiences used for therapy learning. According to the World Health Organisation, “over one billion people – accounting for about 15% of the global population – live with some form of disability and this number is increasing.”
Groups that benefit greatly from the use of a Multi-Sensory room include people with Alzheimer’s disease, AutismSpectrum Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome,Cerebral Palsy, Dementia, Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, and Epilepsy.
Esplora already embraces people living with a disability by providing a fully accessible visitor experience. It trains its entire staff, through EsplorAware, to be more aware of the meaning and added value of inclusion and accessibility and to learn how to interact with persons living with a disability. Autism Friendly hours are normally held once a month on Sundays, whereby Esplora’s operations are adjusted by lowering the volume and softening the lights to allow adults and children with Autism to enjoy their visit in a quieter ambience. During these hours fidget toys, ear defenders and weighted blankets are also provided if needed. Esplora has also introduced the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme which discreetly indicates to people around you including staff, colleagues and health professionals that you may need additional support, help or a little more time when required. Such lanyards may be accessible from the Esplora reception.
Works on this project have already started. MCST will be transforming a 4.5m by 2.6m enclosure into a Multi-Sensory room. The room will contain an array of lighting effects, such as projectors with wheels that emit light patterns throughout the room, bubble lamps, spotlights, star panels, fiber optics, UV lights and mirror balls. Tactile experiences such as touching surfaces with changing textures will be incorporated in an interactive tactile wall panel.
This relaxing and explorative experience will be provided under the guidance of an enabler, a trained Esplora Science Communicator who will follow and support the activity without influencing the visitors’ choices.
This content was supplied by The Malta Council for Science and Technology