Allegany ARC end of year grant report July 2013

Dear Donna and Board Members,


I wanted to follow up and thank you again for your generous donation of $1,000 for a projector for our agency’s new Snoezelen. The multi-sensory room installation was completed in April 2013 and the final product is more than we could have ever imaged.


Monday, April 29th we hosted a Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. The event was attended by over 25 people; local press, board members, legislature representative, employees, family members, etc. I have enclosed some photos of the ceremony, as well as some additional pictures just for fun.


The Snoezelen multisensory room was designed to provide an environment to target behavior, communication, and sensory needs. The sensory room in a controlled fashion is an avenue to increase the brains synaptic connections to improve overall function. The Snoezelen can benefit all of the individuals we serve with a variety of diagnosis and disabilities.


Since its implementation, we have seen a decrease in agitated behavior and an increase in social interaction among the individuals who utilize the Snoezelen. Everyone who has utilized the room has improved their sense of awareness and level of arousal. One individual with severe Cerebral Palsy will even hold his head up to look at the lights and designs created by the room’s projector.


Agency staff have designed a schedule that permits 12-13 people to utilize the room daily. Individuals using the room have displayed more communication interactions since the room was opened by signing the colors while using the color cube and change the lighting in the room. Vocalizing and social engagement within the room has also been noted. Agency staff have witnessed and expressed calming behavior among the room’s participants after completing a session in the room.


We currently serve an individual that is more focused, alert and inclined to eat his lunch after he has spent 30 minutes in the Snoezelen room prior to eating. This same individual is also more socially engaged and interactive while staff assists with his meal. We serve another individual who is sensory-seeking and often will grab at staff or peers for sensory input. After spending approximately 45-55 minutes in the Snoezelen, she exhibits a dramatic reduction in attempts to gain stimulation by grabbing at peers or staff.

The Snoezelen is so popular among the individuals Allegany Arc serves that the biggest issue we face now is scheduling the room so everyone can benefit. The room has also been an educational tool for our staff; giving them a better understanding of the various disabilities surrounding multisensory room therapy.


Once again we thank you for the generous contribution toward our new Snoezelen and look forward to having a display and discussing the Snoezelen further at your upcoming annual meeting October 28, 2013.