Autistic individuals often struggle with sensory integration, this means they can be, at a given time, over or under sensitive to their sensory surroundings. Some may have particular noises, smells, visuals, textures or tastes which they cannot bear or that they really like e.g a person may find bright or flashing lights or loud music difficult to cope with. The environment can be a cause of discomfort. DCU is continually adapting the environment to make it more accessible to all.
Over 16,000 students are studying at DCU. There’s no way to avoid some chaos in your day, but if you’re looking for some quieter spots to recharge, there are a number of quiet spaces across campus that you might like to use.
Right next to the hectic Glasnevin campus you’ll find the green oasis of Albert Park. If you’re feeling active there’s fitness equipment and ample space to play football. If you feel like recharging, there are plenty of benches where you can sit and people-watch. If you’re lucky, you might even get to pet some dogs.
The U-Building Quiet Area
This area is a busy place for socialising and therefore can be noisy. With this in mind, there is a designated “quiet area”. It is definitely not silent, as noise drifts in from other areas. However we hope it is quieter. There are also two soundproofed escape hatches here, if it all gets a bit too much.
The Inter-Faith Centre
The Chaplaincy are on campus for everyone, whatever your faith (or lack of!). The same goes for the buildings linked to the service. The centre is a meeting place for people from all kinds of cultures and backgrounds, and it is a space where people are accepted and celebrated for their differences. The centre features tables and chairs where you can eat your lunch and have a chat. It also has a cosy living room space where you can socialise in a calmer environment. Glasnevin’s Interfaith Centre is home to a beautiful Quiet Room towards the back of the building. You don’t need to book the space, just knock on the door before you go in in case someone is already in there. The Quiet Space in St Pats Inter-Faith Centre offers a calm, comfy space for students to escape from the bustle of campus life. Designed to create a calming acoustic environment, the space is a great place to take some time if you’re feeling overwhelmed by sensory stimuli.
Upstairs at the Helix
The café on the ground floor can get quite busy, but luckily there are seats upstairs where you can enjoy coffee and a bun in a quieter space while you take in the view across campus.
Right in the centre of the Glasnevin campus you’ll find a calming space deliberately designed to help students and staff feel more tranquil. Learn more about our lovely Labyrinth here: www.dcu.ie/chaplaincy/labyrinth/dcu-labyrinth.shtml
The café is the smallest on campus, and it’s tucked away on the ground floor of the Invent building. You won’t find tranquil silence there, but you will find a nice spot to hang out with your friends over lunch, without too much distraction.
We’re very proud of our new Student Centre (the U-Building). It is a space for students to meet, socialise, organise and have fun. That does mean that at times it can get loud. So if the noise is getting to you, just take yourself to one of the acoustic-controlled social booths for a little escape from the noise. No need to book. Located on the 2nd floor of the U Building.
We are sorry to say that in line with current guidelines around Covid19 the pods are out of use until further notice.
If you would like to learn more about how to reduce anxiety and stress you can click here.
If you would like to learn more about the work that DCU Senior Occupational Therapist does you can watch the webinar on “Structuring an Unstructured World” with Susan here.
Additional information and links
If you would like to learn about the other services that are available in the libraries you can read about them here.