All universities have a selection of neurodiverse students (students who are Autistic, ADHD, Dyslexic, etc) and legally have to cater to these students' differences from their neurotypical counterparts under the Equality Act.
Typically, this is done through providing additional support for these students, such as additional time and smaller rooms of people for exams. While this works for some of our differences, it doesn't cater for all of our divergences.
We have other difficulties as well, such as sensory difficulties: overstimulation from uncontrollable sensory input which can lead to meltdowns or shutdowns, or simply discomfort.
While these don't sound like much to neurotypical people, these can also cause physical pain to neurodiverse people. Some effort can be put into making an environment less overstimulating, such as using less intense lighting with softer colour temperatures, making rooms less loud (by not having unnecessary music playing or ensuring people aren't being as loud), however this doesn't eradicate our sensory issues.
Even when the space is as ideal as you can make it, there are still uncontrollable external factors from the outside to other people which can still trigger a meltdown/shutdown.
To gain an idea of what this is like for us, I would urge you to watch these videos with headphones on (CW: loud noises, flashing images):
"Make it Stop.": https://youtu.be/sMn2o9EYa08
"Can you make it to the end?": https://youtu.be/aPknwW8mPAM
This is why we would like to implement sensory rooms throughout the University. These would be a safe space for students to visit when their senses are too much for them and they're struggling to cope with the real world, with a controlled atmosphere in terms of low external noise & smells, and soft lighting.
They should also be kitted out with sensory apparatus: bean bags and other soft, safe furnishings, stim tools, etc. There is currently nowhere for students to go when overstimulation occurs, leading to them having to go to a quieter space which isn’t ideal as they may block entry/exit routes or accessible areas.
As the Neurodiverse Society, if you support our mission to make this a reality, please vote on this. If you would like to join us or get in touch for any reason (be that to help with this campaign or anything else) you can email us on email@example.com.