(a hot quiet room is a sad quiet room)
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A [[quiet room]] is a [[self-care]] feature of events. It is a physical space, ideally an enclosed room, where conversation and interaction is not allowed (nor phone calls). Participants can go there if for any reason they can't interact with other attendees at that time.
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A '''[[quiet room]]''' is a [[self-care]] feature of events. It is a physical space, ideally an enclosed room, where conversation and interaction is not allowed. Participants can go there if for any reason they can't interact with other attendees at that time. Quiet rooms increase an event's welcome level especially to people who have anxiety related conditions, or who are easily exhausted by social interaction and/or presence of strangers. They are also useful for anyone who might need a break to recover from stress, overwhelming emotion, a headache, or dizziness.
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Commodities should include:
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* plentiful but not crammed seating
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* furniture that allows semi-reclining and/or laying down, such as beanbags, a sofa, chaises longues, sleeping pads
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* good ventilation
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* appropriate temperature: warmth in winter and coolness in summer -- or at least, blankets or hand fans for comfort
 
* cushions, pillows, and blankets
 
* ample power points
 
* light reading material
 
* solo puzzles and similar toys
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* dimmed illumination
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* rubber doorstop to reduce door noise
   
 
Common activities in a quiet room include:
 
Common activities in a quiet room include:
*catching up on email or surfing the net
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* catching up on email or surfing the net
*reading
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* reading
*sleeping
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* sleeping
*meditating
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* meditating
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* doodling, drawing
*listening to music through headphones
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* listening to music
*catching up on work
 
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* playing games (solo)
Good things to provide in a quiet room include:
 
 
* catching up on work.
*chairs
 
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*furniture on which people can semi-recline, eg beanbags or lounges
 
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For the benefit of quietness, it is best to let participants use headphones. Staff should be vigilant to scattered noise from earbuds or headphones that to not properly block the sound.
*cushions, pillows, and blankets
 
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*ample power points
 
 
Typically the quiet room is interruptable, ie, people move in and out, and may go in there looking for someone. Separate lockable space may be needed for people who need a place where they will not be interrupted.
*light reading material
 
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*solo puzzles and similar toys
 
 
== Establishing the quiet room ==
*cool temperature (especially in summer)
 
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== Staff ==
*non-stair access
 
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A quiet room does not necessarily require constantly supervision to enforce the rules. However it probably is easier to designate staff to supervise the room than to maintain readiness to act on complaints. The presence of a staff member will also reduce the risk of vandalism or theft, especially if the quiet room is equipped with things like borrowable earphones and books.
Since taste in music varies widely, it is best to let participants use headphones rather than choose music for them.
 
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A supervisor does not need to be physically inside the quiet space at all times, especially if they would be left alone with a single participant, but should be right nearby for instant response when needed.
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== Rules ===
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Rules for a quiet room should prioritize protecting its function. Only a bare minimum needs to be presented to participants on default. These are:
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* No conversation.
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* No phone calls.
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* No activity that makes noise.
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Further instructions for supervisors should lay out procedures and reminders to ensure the ideal functionality of the quiet room. Things to consider:
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* Depending on area, fire safety legislature or insurance policies may require presence of a supervisor so that napping can be allowed.
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* Be aware of when and how to send a person to the event nurse. Can the quiet room supervisor easily get a staff member to assist a participant on their way?
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* Be ready to intervene at any noise. People find it hard to speak up to strangers; participants may well be socially anxious.
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=== Placement and access ===
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The placement of a quiet room can be a challenging task. Ideally it is located at a central, easily accessible spot, but is not affected by the bulk of noise from large halls or nearby "loud rooms". Consider setting up an alternative quiet space if a good location is not, for instance, accessible stairs-free.
   
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Things to consider:
Typically the quiet room is interruptable, ie, people move in and out, and may go in there looking for someone. Separate lockable space may be needed for people who really need a place where they will not be interrupted.
 
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* easy, stair-free access is a priority
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* access should not require passing through cramped, or very busy locations
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* should be easy to find without assistance
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* must not require staff intervention to reach (locked doors, staff-only areas).
   
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Have a readily visible mark on the venue map, and consider putting up extra venue maps and "this way" signs.
Someone who needs the quiet room should not have to interact with anyone in order to get access. The space should be able to be located without staff intervention rather than needing someone to demonstrate the route through an obstacle course of elevators, unmarked passages, narrow kitchens, volunteer break areas, and up stairs with no alternative access. If the main quiet room is inaccessible, provide an alternate space with non-stair access.
 
==Establishing the quiet room==
 
The "no conversation, no phone calls" rules should be explained with other policies. You likely do not need to have the quiet room constantly staffed to enforce the rules, but you should be prepared to act on complaints about them not being followed.
 
 
[[Category:Event planning]]
 
[[Category:Event planning]]

Latest revision as of 01:51, 4 July 2015

A quiet room is a self-care feature of events. It is a physical space, ideally an enclosed room, where conversation and interaction is not allowed. Participants can go there if for any reason they can't interact with other attendees at that time. Quiet rooms increase an event's welcome level especially to people who have anxiety related conditions, or who are easily exhausted by social interaction and/or presence of strangers. They are also useful for anyone who might need a break to recover from stress, overwhelming emotion, a headache, or dizziness.

Commodities should include:

  • plentiful but not crammed seating
  • furniture that allows semi-reclining and/or laying down, such as beanbags, a sofa, chaises longues, sleeping pads
  • good ventilation
  • appropriate temperature: warmth in winter and coolness in summer -- or at least, blankets or hand fans for comfort
  • cushions, pillows, and blankets
  • ample power points
  • light reading material
  • solo puzzles and similar toys
  • dimmed illumination
  • rubber doorstop to reduce door noise

Common activities in a quiet room include:

  • catching up on email or surfing the net
  • reading
  • sleeping
  • meditating
  • doodling, drawing
  • listening to music
  • playing games (solo)
  • catching up on work.

For the benefit of quietness, it is best to let participants use headphones. Staff should be vigilant to scattered noise from earbuds or headphones that to not properly block the sound.

Typically the quiet room is interruptable, ie, people move in and out, and may go in there looking for someone. Separate lockable space may be needed for people who need a place where they will not be interrupted.

Establishing the quiet room

Staff

A quiet room does not necessarily require constantly supervision to enforce the rules. However it probably is easier to designate staff to supervise the room than to maintain readiness to act on complaints. The presence of a staff member will also reduce the risk of vandalism or theft, especially if the quiet room is equipped with things like borrowable earphones and books.

A supervisor does not need to be physically inside the quiet space at all times, especially if they would be left alone with a single participant, but should be right nearby for instant response when needed.

Rules =

Rules for a quiet room should prioritize protecting its function. Only a bare minimum needs to be presented to participants on default. These are:

  • No conversation.
  • No phone calls.
  • No activity that makes noise.

Further instructions for supervisors should lay out procedures and reminders to ensure the ideal functionality of the quiet room. Things to consider:

  • Depending on area, fire safety legislature or insurance policies may require presence of a supervisor so that napping can be allowed.
  • Be aware of when and how to send a person to the event nurse. Can the quiet room supervisor easily get a staff member to assist a participant on their way?
  • Be ready to intervene at any noise. People find it hard to speak up to strangers; participants may well be socially anxious.

Placement and access

The placement of a quiet room can be a challenging task. Ideally it is located at a central, easily accessible spot, but is not affected by the bulk of noise from large halls or nearby "loud rooms". Consider setting up an alternative quiet space if a good location is not, for instance, accessible stairs-free.

Things to consider:

  • easy, stair-free access is a priority
  • access should not require passing through cramped, or very busy locations
  • should be easy to find without assistance
  • must not require staff intervention to reach (locked doors, staff-only areas).

Have a readily visible mark on the venue map, and consider putting up extra venue maps and "this way" signs.

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