Sensory research at European Deafblind Conference

The second phase of a ground breaking study to investigate the use of scents to support communication and learning for multi-sensory impaired young people was presented at this year’s European Deafblind Conference in Lille, France, which took place last month.

This is the next exciting stage in a longstanding collaboration between Seven and Seashell Trust; a highly regarded educational centre of excellence for extremely vulnerable young people with the most complex disabilities.  Our innovative work is focused on researching the use of specifically created scents to enhance and extend the communication skills of multi-sensory impaired (deafblind) young people with severe learning difficulties.  The aim is to enable students to make choices and improve life outcomes.

Following publication of the first stage research – reported in Deafblind International and Perfumer & Flavorist in 2011 – the European Conference provided the ideal platform to present out latest findings.

‘Adding scents to symbols – do they help students make meal choices at mealtimes?’ was presented by Dr Heather Murdoch, research consultant for Seashell Trust, and covered the aims of the study, methods used to present the fragrances as well as the students responses.

We hope to release further details of the findings of this innovative study in the next few months.  In the meantime, should you wish to know more about the conference, details can be found here.