In a groundbreaking move, the Integrated Health and Social Services Center (CISSS) of Laurentides has introduced an innovative project within its rehabilitation center located on Boyer Street in Saint-Jérôme. This pioneering endeavor has transformed the facility into a creative and therapeutic haven tailored to the unique needs of individuals with language, visual, or auditory impairments. These imaginative settings transport participants into the heart of a fictitious city and even on an imaginary journey around the world, all designed to enhance the rehabilitation experience and promote the well-being of those it serves. The DiversCité project is the result of tireless effort and ingenuity from the center’s dedicated team of professionals.
A City of Possibilities for Pediatric Clients
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The first floor of this remarkable center is thoughtfully designed to cater to a pediatric clientele, specifically those with auditory and language impairments. The corridors have been transformed into a vibrant municipal city, with each office simulating a different environment, including a fire station, a bakery, a chocolate shop, a pet store, and more. This whimsical design not only captivates children but also fosters an environment that encourages their learning and development.
Therapists employ these creatively themed settings during sessions for therapeutic purposes. For example, a room resembling a pet store becomes a dynamic space for interactive exercises aimed at improving word pronunciation. Stuffed animals and other stimulating elements within the room enhance children’s learning and verbal expression. This interactive approach not only facilitates progress in therapy but also creates a captivating space that appeals to both users and staff. To aid navigation and further engage the children, professionals at the rehabilitation center have developed a tourist map, which helps them identify objects and move seamlessly from one themed room to another, all while contributing to their therapeutic journey.
A World Tour for Clients with Visual Impairments
On the second floor, the center has dedicated space for both adult and pediatric clients with visual impairments. This floor is designed around the theme of a global tour, where each office represents a different country. The ambiance is meticulously crafted to immerse beneficiaries in a world of cultural richness and diversity. Recognizing the specific needs of individuals with visual impairments, the World Tour floor adopts a minimalist and simplistic style that minimizes visual clutter, ensuring that users can process information with ease.
The design extends to the corridors and offices, which replicate elements from everyday life. For instance, clients can practice mobility within the premises using a white cane, aided by tactile markers akin to those found in real-world scenarios. Large-character posters are strategically positioned throughout the floor, enhancing accessibility and creating a supportive environment for those with visual disabilities.
Positive Outcomes and Ongoing Commitment
Since the inception of the DiversCité project nearly a year ago, the results have been overwhelmingly positive. Clients at the rehabilitation center now have access to an environment that is not only adapted to their unique needs but also fosters stimulation, creativity, and inclusivity. This, in turn, has had a profoundly positive impact on their rehabilitation journeys and overall well-being.
Madame Rosemonde Landry, CEO of the CISSS des Laurentides, expressed her admiration for these transformative settings, stating, “This exceptional arrangement is an inspiring example of innovation! I also want to acknowledge the commitment of the staff who worked tirelessly to provide exceptional service to our clients. We will continue to work tirelessly to offer beneficiaries an environment that supports their growth and development.”