#OTalk – 30th November 2021 – Creating a Sensory Friendly Environment

This weeks chat will be hosted by Rebecca Cusworth @RebeccaCus.

Sensory integration is when our body and brain organises sensations which tell us about ourself and the environment (ASI Wise 2021). The senses including touch, vision, hearing, smell, taste, vestibular, proprioception, and introception (ASI Wise 2021). We receive sensory input from our sensory receptors, we process the sensory information, and then we generate a response to this (Miller 2006). An example of this process might be:

James is swinging on a swing. 
He is enjoying the sensation of moving through the air, the weightlessness at the top of the swing, and the heaviness when he is closest to the ground. He can hear the wind whistling in his ears and can see the ground moving along beneath him. While he swings, James holds onto the chains which he can smell are metal. James can tell he is becoming hungry so he waits until the next upward swing before jumping through the air. 

As all of us are sensory beings, we all have preferences for what we enjoy and dislike. For example, another person may feel motion-sick or afraid when swinging on a swing. When we are in our own homes, we might choose to dim the lights, to light scented candles, surround ourselves with comfy blankets, and eat food which makes us feel good (e.g., chocolate). 

When we are unwell, stressed, or in different environments (such as hospital, a friend’s house, workplace), we are less inclined to use our preferences to make ourselves feel better. 

This #OTalk chat aims to initiate the conversation about how we can create a sensory-friendly environment for ourselves and our patients. As occupational therapists, we are well placed to promote improvements in our services. 


1. What is your understanding of sensory friendly environments?

2. What needs to change in your workplace to make it more sensory friendly for patients?

3. What needs to change to make your environment more sensory friendly for staff?

4. What do you feel would be challenging about putting this in place?

5. What support do you feel would be beneficial from RCOT or your Trust?


Host:  Rebecca Cusworth @RebeccaCus.

Support on OTalk Account: Rachel @OT_Rach

Evidence your CPD. If you joined in this chat you can download the below transcript as evidence for your CPD, but remember the HCPC are interested in what you have learnt.  So why not complete one of our reflection logs to evidence your learning?

HCPC Standards for CPD.

  • Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities.
  • Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user.
  • Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the Standards for CPD.
Occhat, occupational science

#Occhat summary – 17th January 2012 – Natural environment and occupation

#occhat – Natural Environment and occupation

Date: 17/01/2012  Host: @geekyOT

Blog Post  –  Transcript  –   Post Chat Summary

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