Minister McGrath opens new Sensory Room in Drogheda Leisure Park
The first Sensory Room to be developed in a leisure park in Ireland has been officially opened today by Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath TD, in Drogheda.
Minister McGrath praised Drogheda Leisure Park as a “good example of how the private sector can contribute to recognising and addressing the demand for a range of facilities”.
“All children are born with the need to play, to explore and discover their worlds. Providing the means by which they can do this is the job of adults, both inside and outside the home,” Minister McGrath said.
“Play is such an important part of the lives of children. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child includes the right to play as one of the fundamental rights to which all children are entitled.”
He said one of the best ways to achieve this outcome is to ensure that all children can enjoy play, recreation, sport, arts, culture and nature.
“This objective has been included in the Better Outcomes Brighter Futures – the National Policy Framework for children and Young People 2014-2020, which is being implemented across government, led by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.”
“The provision of public play now calls for innovative design and planning, to ensure the safety and accessibility of publically funded equipment and facilities,” Minister McGrath said.
The development of Sensory Rooms began in the Netherlands in the 1970s. The initial idea was to deliver stimulation to the various senses, both to relax and calm, while engaging or prompting the user to take notice of his or her surroundings.
Sensory Rooms also allow communication with non-verbal users, giving the care-giver new knowledge of the user’s awareness.