Mohawk College's Multi-Sensory Lab

MSE Lab Community Program to resume operations in August of 2022. Please check back for updates

What is the Multi-Sensory Lab all about?

  • Incorporates sensory equipment to help clients reach/advance their education and therapy goals.

  • The room fosters an environment that blends sights, sounds, textures, aromas and motion to provide stimulation of ones’ primary senses.

  • This client-centered room can be modified to meet specific sensory needs.

  • The most important benefit of all is that the client will have the opportunity for a meaningful leisure experience!

History of the Multi-Sensory Environment

  • The concept of a Multi-Sensory Lab was created in the 1970’s by Jan Hulsegge and Ad Verheul, two Dutch Therapists.
  • The two therapists worked at an institute for people with intellectual disabilities.
  • It was during one summer that they created an experimental sensory tent for one of the institute’s annual summer fairs.
  • The tent was full of basic equipment and objects that would essentially create some sort of effect. For example, they had a fan that blew shards of paper into the air or bottles full of scented liquids.
  • The experimental tent was a huge success and it appeared that people with intellectual disabilities were actually demonstrating positive verbal and non-verbal reactions and feedback while visiting the tent.
  • The two therapists coined the sensory experience a "Snoezelen" experience.
  • Snoezelen is actually a combination of the two Dutch verbs "snuffelen" (to seek out/explore) and "dozelen" (to relax).

Programs associated with the MSE Lab

Programs that have integrated the Foundations of "Multi-Sensory Environments & Gentle Teaching" training within their program:

  • Recreation Therapy (283)
  • Brain Disorders Management (470)
  • Mental Health Disorders Management (475)
  • Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant (746)
  • Early Childhood Education (213)
  • Educational Support (747)

Upcoming training opportunities


Membership information and forms

Mohawk Press about the Lab

Photo Gallery

Multi-Sensory Rm - Floor plan

Multi-Sensory Rm - Room
The Multi-Sensory Lab at-a-Glance

Multi-Sensory Rm - Rocker stepping stones
Rocker, Tactile Stepping Stones Vibrating Bumpa and Soft Mats Galore!

Multi-Sensory Rm - Tactile Panel
Tactile Panel - Explore different sounds, textures and visual sights with this neon interactive panel that glows with black lights. Project images on the walls, ceiling and floor and watch your room transform before your eyes!

Multi-Sensory Rm - Mirror ball
Mirror Ball - This stationary reflective beauty hangs from the ceiling of the lab. Simply shine the projector or rotating colour-wheel on the ball and watch as patches of reflective light are dispersed on the walls, ceiling and floor of the lab.

Multi-Sensory Rm - Katharine wheel
Katharine Wheel - Interact by touching buttons and watch the colours and patterns change before your eyes. Provides clients with optimal levels of freedom and choice.

Multi-Sensory Rm - Fiber Optic Curtain
Fiber optic curtain - The neon fibre optic strands hang like streamers around the corner nook of the lab. Cozy up on the cushion and hold strands of touchable light in your hands!

Multi-Sensory Rm - Fiber optic fountain 2
Fiber Optic Fountain - This fountain of constantly changing light can rest on the lap of client using the "swinging leaf chair".

Multi-Sensory Rm - Fiber optic
Fibre Optics - "fountains of touchable light!"