Sensory Safe Spaces
The sights and sounds of a festival or any large scale event can be very overwhelming, especially when there’s nowhere to retreat to. Think of a Mardi Gras Parade…you’ve been standing all day, the music hasn’t stopped, you may be hungry, cold…hot…like you want to crawl out of your skin…You don’t want to leave the parade for good but your brain is telling you: I just need a minute!! Or, what if you are in a wheelchair and need to change, but there’s no accessible changing station close by? This is where Team Sensory Safe Spaces comes in.
Team Sensory Safe Spaces will team up with that particular event to provide an inclusive space for ALL to rest, refresh, and decompress before enjoying more of the event. At these designated spaces, there will be sensory tents (hello shade and decreased noise), sensory bags to be given out (think fidgets, sunglasses, earplugs, gum), calming activities (art, sensory bins, and bubble machines) and much more to ensure that those who may be overwhelmed or just need a break can still experience and enjoy their time.
One key (and hopeful) feature of the space will be to provide a changing area for individuals who are in wheelchairs or still have difficulty with bowel and bladder control. There will be a designated tent (not necessarily at the main location) that can still provide the appropriate accommodations and autonomy that everyone else has at an event. We all need and deserve an opportunity to take a break and chill at large scale events. To date, there is nothing like this in our community. The Beluga Project, in conjunction with Festival International, helped create the first space like this at Festival in April 2022. The positive feedback we received throughout and the call to do more of this is apparent, however, we need funding to make this space work over and over, not just one time. From durable tents, to filling the sensory bags, we need our community to help make this happen…one inclusive event at a time. Thank you 24 Citizen Project for helping make this happen!
Team Leader: David Pilon
Funded Date: November 5, 2022
Location: Lafayette, LA
(% completed since funding)
Dear Community Letters
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