The 24th of September is National Multi-Sensory Storytelling Day and I'd like to tell you about an exciting event to mark the day - and hopefully inspire you to hold one of your own!
Despite the explosion in interest in sensory stories, it is still very rare to find stories authored by the people who were their original audience: people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.
I run The Sensory Projects, which aims to share the knowledge and creativity required to turn inexpensive sensory items into effective sensory tools for inclusion. I'm teaming up with The Sensory Trust for a second Sensory Story Adventure at National Star College.
The Sensory Trust is a non-profit organisation dedicated to making places more accessible, engaging and useful for everyone, regardless of age, disability or social circumstances.
National Star College, who also help support of SNJ, provides extraordinary specialist further education, training, personal development and residential services for people with disabilities and acquired brain injuries.
Sensory stories are one of the hidden gems of specialist provision for people with complex disabilities. Recent years have seen them break free from their traditional hideout of special schools and enter the mainstream. Their ability to combine concise text with rich and relevant sensory experiences makes them a natural tool to turn to when looking to include people of all ages and abilities in one experience.
I've trained heritage settings across the country in how to create their own sensory stories. Some places, The Lost Gardens of Heligan for example, have gone on to create their own sensory story tours to encourage people to get all their senses involved in a visit. Another example is Hampton Court Palace where I created a sensory tour of the King's State Apartments that was accessed by people with learning disabilities, mental health difficulties and later stage dementia.
About the event
For National Multi Sensory Story Telling Day The Sensory Trust and The Sensory Projects will come together at National Star College to facilitate a day of sensory story authoring.
Between 60 and 80 students with complex disabilities will work together to create their own sensory story. We do not know what it will be, but it's likely to be a celebration of nature and the incredible environment provided at National Star.
Why not follow The Sensory Projects, The Sensory Trust and National Star to hear how it goes and to read/sense the story when it is published! And if you're interested in creating your own sensory story or project, please get in touch with me ?
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