CREATING SAFE SENSORY SPACES EVERYWHERE!
Attending community events can be overwhelming – especially for people with disabilities. Imagine navigating the busy and noisy surroundings of a local outdoor festival or special event without having access to a space that promotes sensory regulation.
With SootheSpace, people with disabilities – and their family and friends – will have a safe space where light, texture and sound create an ideal atmosphere to escape from a sensory-rich environment. SootheSpace is a portable sensory room which creates an ideal environment for recentering.
Our hope is that SootheSpaces will be as common as first aid tents or kits, so people of all abilities can maximize their enjoyment and attendance at community events without getting overstimulated or having to leave early.
What people are saying about SootheSpace
“It’s as if you created [SootheSpace] just for my family. I wish you were at the pumpkin patch we visited yesterday. I hope to see you on many more of our family outings.” -Parent of three children
SootheSpace was featured in the Illinois Park and Recreation Association Magazine (Nov/Dec 2022 Edition)
SootheSpace received the 2023 National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Innovation in Equity Award
(Pictured on the left are Board Member Allison Niemela (left) and Director Alex Engelhardt (right) accepting the Innovation in Equity Award)
Where to find SootheSpace
The list of locations you can find SootheSpace will be updated as they are scheduled. Many events are FREE and open to the public! Visit each event website to learn more about the event or fees associated with admission.
June 24: AAA – Ackerman Insurance Group Community Event
July 7-9: Windmill City Fest – Batavia
July 12: Unplug Illinois – Oswegoland Park District
July 15: Unplug Illinois – South Elgin Parks and Recreation Department
August 4: Back to School Bach – South Elgin Parks and Recreation Department
August 5: FVSRA Family Fun Day
September 13: City of Aurora Disability Resource Fair
September 14: Fall Special Needs Night at Blackberry Farm – Fox Valley Park District
September 16: Annual Autumn Fair – Geneva Park District Foundation
October 21: Marianjoy Trunk or Treat – Wheaton
October 28: Bat Race – Batavia
November 18: Almost Winter’s Day – South Elgin December 1: Blackberry Farm Holiday Express Special Needs Night September 5 (2024): Blackberry Farms Touch A Truck – Fox Valley Park District
We are thankful for everyone who has supported this project!
Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence
Batavia Mother’s Club
City of Aurora, through its Innovation and Core Services Department – Community Services Division
Fox Valley Special Recreation Foundation – event attendees and individual donors
Geneva Community Chest Foundation
Kane County Board, through its Office of Community Reinvestment, with funds from the Grand Victoria Riverboat Casino.
Kane County American Rescue Plan
Let’s expand SootheSpace in 2024. Donations and grants are greatly appreciated. Contact Alex Engelhardt, Executive Director for more information. Thank you!