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Plymouth, MN: Community sensory room; 1/36 with autism in Minnesota

Feb 25, 2022, KSTP, Minneapolis: Sensory inclusion room now open at Plymouth community center

The City of Plymouth has a new space for people with sensory needs. There is a new room at the community center aimed at giving those folks a quiet place to go but still get out of the house. “Sounds, lights, even smells, can be overwhelming so it’s a space to come here and kind of reset,” said Paul Pearson, Recreation Supervisor with the City of Plymouth. Equipped with things like noise-canceling headphones, art installations and even different lighting, it’s now the first community center in the country to have a sensory room certified by the national nonprofit Kulture City — which specializes in sensory needs and accessibility…. Paul Pearson is the Recreation Supervisor with the City of Plymouth. He says by working with Kulture City, he found out one in six people have a sensory need like autism, PTSD or dementia. “We are very proud and we hope it leads to more sensory rooms and more inclusion,” Pearson said. One local nonprofit that specializes in autism awareness is thrilled to see this sensory room open, and they say it’s important for this to become the norm. “These accommodations are incredibly important to a huge part to our local community,” said Ellie Wilson, Executive Director with the Autism Society of Minnesota. Ellie Wilson is the Executive Director of the Autism Society of Minnesota and she says invisible disabilities are more common than people think. According to a recent Centers for Disease Control study, one in 36 people in Minnesota qualify for an autism diagnosis…. Wilson and her team at the Autism Society of Minnesota work with people who have autism but also try to make the state more inclusive. She believes accommodations like the new sensory room in Plymouth are an important step to achieving just that. “If you want to go to the library or orchestra or any other place that might be a source of passion, joy, or true fulfillment for you then we got to make sure these accommodations are available in all kinds of places,” Wilson said.


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