Quiet hour to provide low-sensory experience at Aquarena

Published on Wednesday, 19 April 2023 at 8:57:54 AM

Aquarena Quiet Hour

Picture Caption: The Aquarena is introducing a ‘quiet hour’ in a bid to increase inclusivity at the facility. Aquarena lifeguards pictured, Sydney Marsden, Asher Milnes and Lali Mardon.

A low-sensory experience at the Geraldton Aquarena will soon be available to the community with the trial of a ‘quiet hour’.

In a bid to increase inclusivity at the facility, the quiet hour provides an opportunity for people who find it challenging to come into the venue which can sometimes be a heightened sensory environment.

The idea behind the initiative sees an allocated timeslot set aside to implement things such as low lighting, minimising noise and other elements that may be over stimulating.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn applauded the Aquarena staff for getting the trial up and running, saying it was important to cater for our diverse community.

“It is important that all members of our community can experience recreation, and introducing a quiet hour ensures we can broaden our inclusivity,” he said.

“Sometimes visiting a facility such as the Aquarena can be quite daunting for some, so we hope introducing one hour a week where we can offer an experience that is as low-sensory as possible will help our facility be welcoming and accepting of all people.

“We hope our community will join us in supporting this program, especially those who are utilising the facility during quiet hour, to ensure we keep noise and stimulation to a minimum.

“This initiative is just another way the Aquarena continues to support access and inclusion when it comes to promoting health and wellbeing, with the facility making specialised equipment available to the public such as a pool lift, hoists, aqua wheelchairs, shower commodes and swimming aids,” Mayor Van Styn added. 

Already introduced at some supermarkets, quiet hours are aimed at people with autism or other sensory-processing conditions.

As part of the Aquarena’s quiet hour, changes to the facility during this time will include reduced lighting, music turned down or off, visible signage advising patrons of the program, the pool hoist ready and accessible as well as extra staff available to support the program.

The quiet hour will officially start on Thursday 27 April and will run from 2:30pm-3:30pm. The program trial will continue every Thursday from 2:30pm-3:30pm, with additional days added depending on uptake and feedback.

Members of the public are advised the Aquarena will remain open to the community during the quiet hour, however pool users will be asked to respect the program and keep the noise to a minimum.

To find out more information or to provide feedback about the initiative, contact the Aquarena on 9956 6906 or via email to aquarena@cgg.wa.gov.au

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