'It helps calm us,' YMCA sensory room helps people with disabilities
MONCTON, N.B. -- Hali Douthwright, 28 has been helping the YMCA of Greater Moncton develop its very own sensory room, designed for people with disabilities.
It's a project that's been near and dear to her heart.
"The sensory room is kind of a big thing for people here because their lives are filled with a lot of emotions," said Douthwright.
The sensory room is filled with things people can feel, hear and touch including Hali's personal favourite, a keyboard, gel-like floor tiles, a weighted blanket and led lights for those sensitive to bright lights.
"We decided to make the sensory room for people who have problems with their minds and sometimes with their anger to help calm us down."
Hali said she's proud to be a part of something that will continue to help others.
"It makes me feel focused because I have Down syndrome and I have anger sometimes, but the sensory room helps me a lot. It calms me down and it's actually kind of soothing."
Nicole Wry, the coordinator of the YMCA community action network says they started working on the room back in July 2019 after they received an $8,000 grant from the enabling and accessibility fund. However, it wasn't until recently that the organization opened it up to those in the YMCA's adult day program.
"Our adult day program is a program from adults with different types of exceptionalities," said Wry. "They have a lot of young people joining so I just grabbed a group of eight of them, they talked about accessibility and how they really wanted to leave a mark on the 'Y'."
While the room was completed in 2020, wry said it is currently not open to the general public due to the number of COVID-19 cases in the region.
For the time being, those in the adult day program can benefit from what the room has to offer.
"It makes me feel good inside. I'm a caring, wonderful person and I really want this sensory room to be a success," said Douthwright.