University of Missouri

49-20: An Act to Provide the Student Health Professions-Occupational Therapy Students with Contingency and Reserve Funding to Enhance and Expand Sensory Sensitive Saturdays (withdrawn)

Missouri Students Association

University of Missouri

Bill 49-20

An Act to Provide the Student Health Professions-Occupational Therapy Students with Contingency and Reserve Funding to Enhance and Expand Sensory Sensitive Saturdays

WHEREASSensory Sensitive Saturdays works to “design a comfortable and accepting setting where families with children touched by autism and other disabilities can go to enjoy their favorite films”, and,

WHEREAS, according to the Autism Society, “Sensory- friendly films are the biggest up and coming development in many of the major cities across the U.S.”, and,

WHEREAS, children and other persons with autism and other sensory processing disorders become over-stimulated by elements such as light, temperature and sound, and,

WHEREAS, students from the Occupational Therapy Program have intervened to provide an accommodating and comfortable environment for this select audience by lowering the volume, raising the lighting aspect of the theatre, and increasing the temperature of the theatre, and have encouraged participants to bring personal items such as blankets and pillows, as well as special dietary movie snacks, and,

WHEREAS, children with autism and other sensory processing disorders have difficulty keeping still, thus are encouraged to move around, dance, and sing along with the movie, and all previews are removed due to their distracting nature, and

WHEREAS, parents and families have expressed their frustrations with finding family activities that cater to special needs children, yet are appropriate and entertaining for all children to enjoy, and,

WHEREAS, the first Sensory Sensitive Saturday was held on August 1, 2009 with a attendance of 103 people, and has held their second movie showing September 26, 2009 with 109 people in attendance, and,

WHEREAS, as future occupational therapists, they work to help their clients to enhance their community involvement and encourage those with disabilities to engage in community activity, and,

WHEREAS, as occupational therapy students they were required to complete a synthesis project prior to graduation, and this synthesis project serves as their equivalent of a doctoral research program that helps to benefit a particular community, and in this particular case,  the community of autism, and,

WHEREAS, all previous expenditures to launch this program were taken out of pocket of the student founders and included the purchase of flyers and marketable media, and,

WHEREAS, any additional funds provided by the Missouri Students Association would be used for the purchase of items such as “lap buddies”, weighted blankets, and sensory bins to provide supplementary positive stimulation to the child and other participants, and,

WHEREAS, expenses for Sensory Sensitive Saturdays can be broken down to 5 main categories as follows:

  • Adaptations to be added in for the sensory acclimated environment such as lap buddies, weighted blankets, and sensory bins which can range from $30-$50, $50-$150, and $5-$15 (per item, with the goal to purchase 40 items), respectively.
    • $2600
  • Advertisement such as posters and flyers to promote the Sensory Sensitive Saturday Events.
    • $50/ month
  • Sponsorship funds for those families who wish to participate in the events but do not have the financial means necessary.
    • $500 (tickets are $5.75/ kids. $6.25/ adults)
  • Rental funds to rent an appropriate movie when one is not available in theatres- $100+ varies depending on what the movie is, etc.)
    • $300 (at $100/ piece)
  • Research money to continue and keep up to date with adaptation techniques and sensory sensitive medias.
    • $500

for a total of $4,600, and,

WHEREAS, investment in this program will provide the University of Missouri-Columbia and its Occupational Therapy Program with an advantage in Academics and Research opportunities for prospective and future OT majors, and,

WHEREAS, this initial, one-time investment will provide the groundwork for future OT students to continue the development of this program, potentially leading to Educational Health Professions Grants for research.

THEREFORE, LET IT BE ENACTED BY THE MISSOURI STUDENTS ASSOCIATIONto provide Sensory Sensitive Saturdays and the Occupational Therapy Program of the Student Health Professions College with one-time funds of up to, but no less than $4,000 from Contingency and Reserve.

Respectfully submitted,

Colleen Hoffmann, MSA Vice President

Erica Zucco, Academic Affairs Chair