This is the home of the Matilda Rose Centre, part of the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, which provides an early intervention program for children with visual and hearing impairments and other associated disabilities.
One the centre’s main goals is to get children interacting with one another, playing together and forming relationships. However, as Speech Pathologist Caren explains, this was a challenge. “We wanted the children to integrate more, but because of the different levels of abilities and support needed, it was hard to get them all playing close together. I had an idea for a sensory table which I’d thought about for a long time so I contacted TAD to see if it was possible.”
TAD volunteer Bob Bunton took up the challenge to create the table and visited the Centre to take a look at Caren’s sketches.
Bob found an adjustable table within the centre that was rarely used. It had a round wooden top and a metal frame with adjustable legs which he took back to his workshop.
“I removed the top of the table from the frame,” explains Bob. “Then I cut four indents into the sides of the table. This would allow four children to stand supported at the table.”
The biggest challenge was to find a container of the most suitable size to fit through the square metal supporting frame on the bottom of the table top. Once he sourced what he needed he filled the plastic box with five inches of Styrofoam to reduce the weight of the box should it be filled with water or sand.
He then cut a hole in the table top and inserted the plastic box.
“It was pretty simple in the end,” says Bob. “But it seems to be working out well!”
Caren was delighted to see her idea become a reality. “I couldn’t believe I had been thinking of this for years and almost immediately it was finished. The table is a real hit with the kids, in fact, whenever any of the staff’s own children come in it’s the first thing they go to. It’s a real success.”