Perth Airport Sensory Room

With an estimated one in 100 people in Australia having autism, Perth Airport is embracing the need to assist neurodivergent travellers by creating a Sensory Room, which it hopes to open later this year. The room will provide a calming environment featuring reduced noise levels and soft lighting, that passengers can use before take off.

“We understand that travelling can be a highly stressful situation, especially for neurodivergent travellers,” said Kate Holsgrove, Perth Airport Chief Commercial and Aviation Officer. “With a focus on removing barriers for neurodivergent people, the room will cater to all ages, with an emphasis on supporting decompression, in a busy airport environment.”

The airport has undergone an extensive consultation with its Access and Inclusion Advisory Group to devise a full-scale room demo for the group to test and provide further feedback. The room will feature seating nooks for small travelling groups, two private areas, sensory-seeking accessories, device charging stations, small cubby spaces, soft furnishings and colour treatments and a flight information display screen providing boarding updates for passengers without disruption. Plus Architecture has been tasked with designing the space, while local construction firm Hoskins Contracting will construct the new facility.

“The Sensory Room willl offer a range of areas suitable for simultaneous use by differing travel groups such as independent travellers, carers and families,”added Holsgrove. “There will be a private family room and a second private area, with further contained seating nooks in place.”

Underlining that the airport team is committed to fostering an inclusive travel experience for all passengers, Holsgrove described the sensory room as a great addition to the terminal.

Commending the airport on its efforts to improve accessibility for all passengers, Disability Services Minister, Don Punch, added: “Knowing there is a calming place to take a break if things get overwhelming will offer comfort to many Western Australians and visitors… Partnering with business, industry, community and people with disability is critical in changing attitudes. I would like to congratulate Perth Airport for making this vital piece of WA infrastructure a more inclusive place.

Image: Supplied by Perth Airport.

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