Small Ideas: $10,000


The Vera Perlin Society is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides services and support for individuals living with an intellectual disability and their families in the St. John's and surrounding areas. We offer a number of programs aimed at enhancing the lives of the clients we serve. Our organization began in 1954 under the direction of our founder, Vera Crosbie Perlin and we continue today because of our community support.

The Vera Perlin Society operates a structured day program for approximately 75 participants in the Perlin Centre, located at 350 Pennywell Road in St. John's, NL. The goal of this program is to provide individuals with specialized programing in an effort to enhance their skills and abilities while trying to develop additional skills that can be transferred into their daily lives. Our programming is structured to a point as to what areas instruction is provided, but then it is individualized with respect to an individual’s ability level in an effort to give our clientele the best experience possible.

We have approximately 75 participants in this program on a daily basis along with 21 staff. At times this environment can become overwhelming for some of our participants who have autism. We have looked into the research of a room specifically targeted to help individuals with autism feel more comfortable; a safe room where they can go to escape the noise sometimes abundant at our Perlin Centre.

Our idea as put to AVIVA is to request funding to help us establish a room in our facility specifically for our clients who have autism. This room is known as a sensory room.


A Sensory Room is a specially designed room which combines a range of stimuli to help individuals develop and engage their senses. These can include lights, colours, sounds, sensory soft play objects, aromas all within a safe environment that allows the person using it to explore and interact without risk.

Sensory Rooms can help those who have learning difficulties, developmental disabilities or sensory impairments learn to interact with the world around them, but in a safe environment that builds up their confidence and their ability. The user gets an unrestrained non-threatening space where they can explore at their own leisure. This freedom lets their teacher, therapist or care worker see what calms them, rouses them and what they like or don’t.


There are a whole host of benefits of a sensory room for those who require them, some of these include:

Sensory Stimulation: By encouraging the user to engage and explore the environment then it can have positive effects on their ability to react and interact with the larger world around them.

Enhance Learning through Play: Following on from this, sensory stimulation can engage different areas of the brain, helping individuals absorb and retain more information and better meeting the needs of the individual.

Improve Balance, Movement and Spatial Orientation: Sensory rooms can help develop users’ visual processing abilities as well as their fine and gross motor skills, facilitating day-to-day living.

Tackle Problems With Behaviour: Sensory environments can be highly absorbing, providing a moment of comfort and calm for overactive and distressed individuals, and helping inactive individuals to feel better engaged. This improves focus and prevents users from getting the urge to become upset.

These are just a handful of the benefits of a sensory room. The Board of Directors of the Vera Perlin Society have a fiduciary to our clientele to make sure we offer an environment that will work for each participant, the abilities they have and the skills we’re aiming to help them develop.

If you would like more information on our organization or if you have any questions pertaining to this application please feel free to contact us. Thank you so much for your time. Let's start voting!

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Vera Perlin Charitable Foundation

Location: St. John's