There are many activities that can be done with students with learning disabilities. One of these is the Happiness Programme, an interactive light projector that features over 80 sensory games and activities. It uses interactive light technology to provide a sensory experience for those who use it. It’s a specialist piece of equipment designed to bring joy and happiness and is proven to have a hugely positive impact on those that use it.
We recently spoke with Suzanne from Tipperary County Council, who oversees the Happiness Programme at a number of Tipperary Libraries.
Suzanne told us about a multitude of people who use the Happiness Programme when they visit the libraries, including residential care homes, who joined the library membership scheme specifically for the Happiness Programme. Many of her stories sharing the joy of the programme were focussed on how young and SEN children interacted with the Happiness Programme at the libraries.
Returning to the Library for the Happiness Programme
The minute they’re introduced to it, the children want to be involved. Suzanne told us she explains to them what the Happiness Programme is, and uses it to educate on other children with limited mobility or older people with dementia. Often times, the children return to the library specifically for the Happiness Programme with their parents and repeat word-for-word what Suzanne has taught them. She says it’s a great tool for encouraging the children to listen, and often when they’re repeating instructions to their parents she can tell how well they’ve paid attention.
A Ripple Effect
Children who haven’t yet been introduced to the Happiness Programme always had questions about how they can play on it or what games or activities they can play with, and the more they came to the library to use the Happiness Programme, the more they showed other children and asked if they wanted to play with it, creating what Suzanne described as a “Ripple Effect”.
The libraries are slowly re-introducing toddler-parent groups, in which they incorporate the Happiness Programme by playing the bubble pop game, the autumnal leaves activity or the balloon pop game, also said to be a favourite with the children.
All in all, Suzanne says the Programme has been great for the library, not only has it helped to grow their membership and introduced a fun, educational technology but it has become a part of their daily routine; they turn on the lights, they turn on the computers and they turn on the Happiness Programme.