Accessibility goal: inside Qatar's World Cup sensory rooms

STORY: Location: Al Khor, Qatar

For the first time in World Cup history

three stadiums are offering ‘sensory rooms’

(Mark Dyer, Inclusive Design Adviser, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy)

"A sensory room for those who don't know is a place where we can bring autistic children and adults, or associated neurodiverse disabilities to come and enjoy a football match in an environment that feels safe and secure. The place itself is set up to give them activities, give them calm, relaxation and opportunities to get away from some of the stimulations in the match that they could find challenging otherwise."

For those with certain sensory requirements,

large, loud crowds can be overwhelming

and a barrier to attending matches

The stadiums were built with hopes of

achieving the most accessible World Cup ever

(Alison Saraf, Co-Owner of ‘Sensory Souk’, Mother of child with autism diagnosis)

"So what you will see around the room is a lot of equipment that provides a lot of support for them on different levels just depending on what their requirements are. As you see we have a lot of fibre optic lights."

"They are all very tactile but they also provide as I said this input these individuals need to calm and refocus their bodies."