Last July an autism-friendly waiting room was inaugurated in the Emergency Department of Careggi Hospital in Florence. It is the first example of a sensory waiting emergency room in Italy and one of the few examples in Europe. It represents one of the strategies to improve accessibility in Careggi Hospital. Design concept of the healthcare environment aimed at reducing distress in ED and answering to particular needs of people with ASD. The relationship between architectural space and quality of life is studied to pay maximum attention to users’ needs and to support the medical staff in their work by a specific program of training.
The curved shape of the room welcomes you into a secure environment that provides containment and improves accessibility and quality of care. A specific technological system supports requests and self-determination in order to fit sensory stimulation such as colours, music, videos and anything else people may want to make the room comfortable and reassuring. The main aim is patient’s relaxation to ensure a better regulation of the arousal and less behaviour problems and to improve treatment accessibility, safety and effectiveness. Choose how you want to relax: let yourself be hugged and gently rocked in the Cocoon armchair; project your favourite videos; immerse yourself in light therapy that has been tailored according to your sensory preferences; rest in a soft corner where you can build your own customized spot thanks to the mobile, wall-mounted furniture cushions; enjoy the sound vibrations and the tactile stimulation of the music on the vibrating platform.