On January 5th, 2019, the Ottawa Senators played the Minnesota Wild at the Canadian Tire Centre. Prior to the game, Robert More was interviewed by CBC Radio, as described below.
Robert More is with the Rural FASD Support Network and is the adoptive father of 3 children with FASD, who have never before been to an NHL game. The noise, bright lights, and large crowds can be very overwhelming for them; therefore they tend to avoid situations with a lot of sensory stimuli. More has previously attended an Ottawa 67s game with his oldest child, but explained that most of the game was spent walking around the lobby trying to regulate her anxiety about the surrounding environment.
The Rural FASD Support Network arranged with the Senators a sensory friendly hockey experience by giving More and his children their own personal suite. The room is enclosed in glass which muffles the sound from the arena. The suite also has room for the children to move around – this is very beneficial as they have a hard time sitting for longer than 20 minutes.
The game started at 1:00 pm which More explained as being important to keeping up with their daily routine. The children can wake up at their normal time and after the game, their nighttime routine will not be interrupted. Disrupting this routine can affect them for up to a week, More explained.
The children were very excited about the game because they never thought it would be possible for them to attend a hockey game, something many others take for granted. More described the hope this experience provided his family, showing them that accessibility is possible and they ‘deserve it as much as anyone else’.
Both More and CBC radio host, Hallie, teared up as More described how this is the beginning of a new year and he is positive that this coming year will be better than last year.
To listen to the full interview, please see the hyperlink above.