The Sensory Story Project

Online Sensory Story training available now

This picture shows where The Sensory Story Project began, very much a home made affair. The stories are now professionally printed and the small assistant pictured here has grown considerably and been joined by a second!

Become a published Sensory Story author with The Sensory Projects!

The ripples of the original Sensory Story Project are spreading ever wider and from 2020 The Sensory Projects will begin to publish stories by other authors. If you would like to submit a story to The Sensory Projects to be considered for publication please download the author guidelines from the bottom of this page and get creative!

Use the template and fonts (also downloadable below) to format your story to our publishing style. Avoid copying and pasting text from other documents into the template as this can disrupt the formatting. Consider whether you have, or can find with the suitable creative commons permissions, pictures that could be used to illustrate your book.

The Sensory Projects will only be publishing a limited number of stories from external authors. Competition will be fierce. Stories will be picked for their quality and for their relevance to our existing library of stories.

Aim

To convey the benefits of narrative through sensory experiences.

Method

The Sensory Story Project was the first of The Sensory Projects and led to all of the others. It was set up to create five great sensory stories that people could resource themselves. It began as a Kickstarter Project and its success is down to the all the wonderful people and organisations appearing below.

Thank you!

Selling the stories funds the writing of more stories. You can see for yourself just how far the support of those original Kickstarter backers has taken the project as you browse the stories currently for sale on the website.

Outcomes & Resources

Kickstarter complete!
The five stories that were pitches in the original Kickstarter were created.

A growing library of sensory stories
There are now over 30 Sensory Projects stories published.
You can view the sensory stories and other free to download resources here.

Sensory Stories book 1st and 2nd edition!
The book Sensory Stories for Children and Teens was published in 2014 by Jessica Kingsley and sells globally supporting parents and practitioners to facilitate stories in a sensory way. The second edition of this book Sensory Stories for All is due out in 2022.

Sensory stories for people with Dementia
A second book Sharing Sensory Stories and Conversations with People with Dementia was published in 2018 and opens up the world of seEsory story telling to people with dementia and those who care for them.

Children's books
Two children's books have been published by LDA resources. Each tells a sensory story but presented in the format of a traditional children's book:

  • Ernest and I features a young autistic boy growing up at sea and having lots of adventures with his penguin friend Ernest.

  • Voyage to Arghans features a young woman with Downs Syndrome who wins a competition to be the first child in space and is set a very difficult mission.

Online and In-person training
Sensory story training days are enabling other individuals and organisations to use sensory stories in ambitious and inclusive ways.

Sensory story tours
Settings have hosted their own sensory story adventures as a result of receiving training, including The Sensory Trust's King Edward mine sensory story adventure day and The Lost Gardens of Heligan's sensory telling of the journey of a honey bee.

Enhancing sensory accessibility
Sensory stories are being used to enhance sensory accessibility to events and experiences. You can witness Joanna and Rosa working with Circus Starr to improve their sensory accessibility as you can see in the short film below. The Sensory Projects online college has a workshop on Creating Sensory Accessibility.

Consumers become creators
In all art forms you would expect in time to see the consumers become the creators. The Sensory Projects have acted in a facilitator role as groups of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities co-authored their own sensory stories. You can read about the co-authorings in PMLD Link Vol 29. No.3 (Grace & Robinson 2017) and in SEN Leader (Grace 2019).

Origin

The idea for The Sensory Story project came about 11 years before the project. I was working in a school for students with severe and profound special educational needs. Sensory stories were the only way I could engage all of my students together: we absolutely loved them. But the stories we shared often had a limited range of resources and I struggled to find narratives that would appeal to adults (whether the readers or experiencers of the stories). I would often chat to friends outside of work about the need for low cost, richly resourced, wide appeal stories, after 11 years of chatting a good friend told me it was time to stop talking and start doing and so the Kickstarter launched.