Learn more about some of our latest campaigns, which are all aimed at enhancing the university  experience for our students.


Hear from our Communities Officer Katie on the passion project she brought to life as part of her manifesto promise - The Sensory Room

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Neurodivergence is hard, it is even harder as a student struggling to fit in or dealing with overwhelm on what is a very large and busy campus. Having studied at UL for my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and been diagnosed with ADHD in between, I was very aware of and frustrated with the gaps regarding support for the neurodivergent and disabled community in UL. Desperate for change, I ran for election as Communities Officer, to be the voice for those underrepresented communities and fight for change. Six months later, the campaign for UL Student Life’s Sensory Room was born. 

As the number of students in UL continues to grow, so too do the number of students identifying as disabled. Creating an environment where all students feel welcome and at home on our campus is vital to a healthy and happy third-level experience. Here at UL Student Life, we firmly believe that the development of a permanent, well-resourced space is therefore crucial to enhancing the sense of belonging that the disabled student community feels on our campus, as well as being an important element of the effort to make UL the most inclusive, equitable, accessible, and sustainable university in Ireland.

What is a Sensory Room? 

A sensory room is a space specially designed or designated for neurodivergent students to go in order to escape the overwhelm that might come from spending time on a busy and bustling campus such as UL’s.  The space is also a place for anyone who might be curious about ADHD/Autism, or who might be on a waiting list for a diagnosis.  

This space aims to facilitate a calm and relaxed environment for those with sensory needs. With features such as low lighting, reduced noise, and being away from the general thoroughfare of campus, the space is also equipped with a variety of sensory toys, and adaptive to the changing needs of the various students who might make use of the space. Fundamentally, it is a space for neurodivergent students to decompress, recharge, or find solace during stressful times in an environment that does not result in overstimulation.    

The Sensory Room:

This year, I have been delighted to fulfil my manifesto point and take the first steps towards facilitating a permanent sensory space on our campus. To date, we have secured the use of room 3 in the Student Centre, operating on Tuesdays & Thursdays between 1pm - 2pm.  Whilst this is only a fraction of what is required by our students, initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. 

Students using the space say they are delighted to have a place where they can be their authentic selves, with no need to “mask” their neurodiversity. Some students have been inviting their friends to join them, and the creation of the space has also encouraged other students to come forward who are curious about it. 

Naturally, the main suggestions for improvement from students to date has concerned the need to expand the rooms provision (in terms of what is available in the space) and its operating hours - with the aspiration being the facilitation of a permanent space which can operate full-time availability.  



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