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For Immediate Release
April 24, 2009

For more information, contact
Nicholas Mascari
(585) 395-2754
nmascari@brockport.edu

College, Middle School Cut Ribbon on Facility for Children With Autism

College at Brockport and A.D. Oliver Middle School Collaborate

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Press Release Photo Gary Zimmer,Brockport Central School Board of Education; Sen. George Maziarz; Joel Frater, chair, recreation and leisure studies; President John R. Halstead

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Press Release Photo Nancy Vander Molen, recreation and leisure studies, demonstrates multi-sensory apparatus.

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Press Release Photo

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Press Release Photo

Brockport, NY – Members of The College at Brockport and the Brockport Central School community, along with area legislator George Maziarz officially opened the Multi-Sensory Room at the A.D. Oliver Middle School, Friday, April 24.

“This is a collaborative effort that couldn’t have been done without the efforts of Senator Maziarz and Assemblyman Bill Reilich, the Brockport School System administrators and staff, and our own Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, especially Professor Joel Frater. But ultimately it’s a day for the kids who will benefit from this wonderful facility,” said College at Brockport President John R. Halstead.

The new facility will be used by a variety of programs and professionals, including The College at Brockport’s Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies Children with Autism Recreation Program and the special education professionals at the Oliver Middle School.

The multi-sensory room uses sensory stimulation such as sounds, touch, lights, images, and smells to help children with autism connect with and focus on their environment. Repeated exposure to sensory experiences has been shown to help children with autism who have trouble responding in typical home or school settings. Multi-sensory rooms can also produce a relaxation response.

Nancy Vander Molen, lecturer in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies and coordinator of the Children with Autism Recreation Program and Multi-Sensory Room, said that the facility also will provide students in the therapeutic recreation, psychology and social work programs a hands-on learning experience of assessing children with autism, planning programs and evaluating outcomes.

The equipment for the facility was made possible through items from Senator Maziarz (2007) and Assemblyman Reilich (2008). Joel Frater,PhD, associate professor and chair of The College at Brockport’s Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, was the author of the grant application that funded the construction of the multi-sensory room.

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The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu

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