Northlands Quiet Room, opened 19 June 2014
Northland Shopping Centre in partnership with Amaze, has opened Australia’s first ever shopping centre ‘Quiet Room’ – a sensory soothing space for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Northland Shopping Centre in partnership with Amaze, has seen it open Australia’s first ever shopping centre ‘Quiet Room’ – a sensory soothing space for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Built entirely by local volunteers and businesses and led by a passionate committee with most members having been personally touched by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the pioneering ‘Quiet Room’ concept has been introduced in a bid to give the 55,000 Victorians affected by ASD a positive shopping experience.
Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie explains, “It can be very difficult for parents with children on the spectrum to be able to come out to public places, such as shopping centres, for fear of their child having a ‘meltdown’ due to too much sensory stimulation. And not just children – adolescents and adults with ASD are often overwhelmed by the sensory experience that is ‘shopping’!
Northland Shopping Centre, together with our Autism experts, have constructed a specially designed ‘Quiet Room’ offering individuals and their carers space to reduce their anxiety, where they can get access to power, sensory soothing items, bean bags and other useful materials to help reduce over-stimulation.”
Centre Manager, Michael Bickers, is thrilled that Northland Shopping Centre has become more accessible to its valued customers and centre staff affected by ASD.
“We hope this revolutionary idea will help individuals and their carers feel more comfortable in this and other public spaces and perhaps further engage with the community.
Furthermore, we’re committed to growing awareness of ASD at Northland by using our communication channels to promote the many wonderful ASD services and programs available within the local community”, said Bickers.
Australia’s first ever shopping centre ‘Quiet Room’ was unveiled by Cr. Gaetano Greco, Mayor of the City of Darebin and CEO of Amaze, Fiona Sharkie, today at Northland Shopping Centre. Volunteers, community members and local businesses were attendance along with representatives from Amaze and Northland Centre Management.
For further details, please contact Northland Centre Management 03 9478 1399