Wanslea Early Childhood Early Intervention has partnered with APM Communities to provide three chill-out spaces at this year’s Perth Royal Show, making it more inclusive for all to enjoy.
Loud or sudden noises, flashing lights, crowds of people and busy activities are stimuli that can be overwhelming for some people living with disability or sensory processing difficulties. Events like the Royal Show are meant to be fun, but, for some, all the different sights, sounds and smells stop them from attending.
In 2019, a quiet zone was introduced at Perth’s Royal Show and the feedback from families was that it lessened parental anxiety and enhanced their child’s ability to participate inclusively. This year, there will be three chill-out spaces for anyone feeling anxious or overwhelmed by the highly stimulating environment of the Royal Show, to take some time-out in a quiet and safe space. The zones will give people a place to go to feel calm and relax. Inside, it is quiet, there is low-lighting and there are calming activities available, like bubble blowing. Chill-out spaces mean that people can stay longer at the Show, because they can take a time-out as often as they need,increasing inclusion.
This year there is also a show-wide quiet time scheduled for Tuesday 28 September between 10am and 2pm, where vendors will turn off lights and music and limit announcements so that people adverse to noise can feel comfortable attending the show during this time.
This initiative shows that small changes can make a big difference. By making places and events more accessible, more people can be included. The Royal Show will be implementing the chill-out spaces and quiet times nationally, because of the success experienced in Perth.