As a part of our Community Inclusion Project and in collaboration with the Purple Hands Foundation, the Fremantle Dockers charitable foundation, we have created a Sensory Room for Fremantle Dockers home games at Optus Stadium.
Over the past year, as a part of this project we have provided advice, in-room support, and guidance in developing a space for individuals with sensory sensitivities. This space has been created with input from individuals with Autism and their families to take a break from the bright lights, loud noises and large crowds of the stadium during Fremantle Dockers home games.
The idea for this space came from Mitchell Griffin, a long-time Fremantle Dockers member at a Fremantle Football Club Member Advisory Forum in December of 2021. Through his own lived experience, Mitchell recognised the need for a quiet space at the games so that individuals with sensory needs could enjoy a game of football.
Throughout the 2022 season, we invited adults, children, and families to experience a pilot of the Sensory Room while attending Fremantle Dockers home games. This feedback was used to create a quiet and peaceful space that meets the needs of individuals with Autism, who wish to take a break from the loud noises and bright lights of the stadium.
The new space includes comfy bean bags to sit back and relax in, visual supports, noise-reducing headphones, sensory activities and trained staff on hand to provide support when needed. Check out some photos from the Sensory Room below!
In addition to the development of the Sensory Room, the Purple Hands Foundation have developed Sensory Bags that can be hired by an individual to support them to continue watching the game from their seat. These bags include noise-reducing headphones and a range of sensory and tactile resources.
Creating this space is a commitment to people with disabilities and their families and we are proud to be working with the Purple Hands Foundation and Fremantle Football club as they lead the way for inclusion for all people at Optus Stadium.
Thank you to each individual and family who attended to experience the room and provide input to the room and thank you for Mitchell for bringing this idea to life for all to enjoy!
If you’re looking for more inclusive spaces and venues throughout Perth, check out our Creating Inclusive Communities page here!