Sensory Suite Opens at Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Tuesday | Apr. 23, 2019
Bon Secours Wellness Arena celebrates the grand opening of our new Sensory Suite, a new space is specifically designed to meet the unique sensory needs of guests that may have difficulty processing the sights and sounds of a typical arena show.
Key features of the suite that will make this possible include sound and light dampening glass to enclose the suite, soft seating options, a de-escalation space with a privacy curtain and calming sensory accessories.
“The new Sensory Suite furthers the Arena’s commitment towards inclusiveness and accessibility,” shares Beth Paul, General Manager of Bon Secours Wellness Arena. “The availability of Sensory Kits, special programming such as Skate, Roll, and Stroll, and now the Sensory Suite are simple improvements to the Arena, that will make a lasting impact on the community we serve.”
Bon Secours Wellness Arena already offers Friendly Access Sensory Safety Kits to guests at all events. Each kit includes an assortment of useful tools to help guests enjoy an event with greater comfort. Additionally, the Arena holds multiple “Skate Roll and Stroll” sessions where families with children with disabilities are invited to explore the ice in their wheelchairs or walkers, walk on the ice, or be pulled around the ice in a sled or wagon.
“As an Occupational Therapist, I am thrilled to see such a thoughtful and well-designed space in the Greenville community outside of a therapy clinic,” says Heather Herdt, Occupational Therapist with Greenville County School District. “This space will provide a place for families to experience events together while addressing the needs of their family member with sensory sensitivities.”
Heather is just one of several community partners that assisted with the design process for the Sensory Suite. Representatives from The Meyer Center, Project Hope Academy, the Center for Developmental Services and several parents of special needs children worked closely with the Arena and architects McMillan Pazdan Smith to provide key insights on the room’s design for families.
“It’s easy to take for granted that every child enjoys the same fun activities in the same way, but that is simply not the case if you have a child with a disability,” shares Robin Blackwood, a parent of a special needs child. “You have to change most of your outings and types of entertainment that your family can enjoy together. The Sensory Suite means families will be able to attend events at The Well in a place that is more comfortable, more inclusive and more enjoyable for everyone.”