St. Joseph’s Unveils New Multi-sensory Room

St. Joseph’s Unveils New Multi-sensory Room

St. Joseph’s School for the Blind recently held an official ribbon cutting ceremony to open its newly installed Multi-Sensory Environment (MSE).  Executive Director David Feinhals said charitable grants and private donations helped fund the new room.  Major funders include The UPS Foundation, New Jersey Lions District 16N Charitable Foundation, The Fund for the New Jersey Blind and the FSC Foundation.

The MSE is the latest addition to the school’s expanded programs and services for children from birth to 21 years of age who are blind, visually impaired and multiply disabled.  Through research and input from St. Joseph’s Early Intervention specialists, Teachers of the Blind and Visually Impaired, and professional therapists, a design for the room was created incorporating a Snoezelen® MSE, a specially designed stimulating environment.

The new room is a controlled, therapeutic environment offering a multitude of different opportunities to play, explore, and start to learn.  It can be used to calm and relax, or stimulate exploration, learning and development, and to help children with sensory, cognitive and learning disabilities better understand the world around them.  Tools within the environment help children achieve their academic and therapy goals and help stimulate communication and sensory integration. The tactile, auditory, and olfactory elements of the room will allow students without functional vision to learn and achieve their goals through their preferred sensory channel.  Most importantly, each Snoezelen® MSE is tailored to meet the needs of specific populations, ages and abilities. 

According to Executive Director Feinhals, “As the only private school for the blind in New Jersey it is imperative to invest in the expansion of services to ensure all children develop to their greatest potential.  Since our founding in 1891, our focus has been the development of the potential of each individual through highly specialized learning in the least restrictive environment.  The school’s new MSE will provide the opportunity for greater development in an innovative environment conducive to learning and exploration.”

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