N.B. Company Launches ‘Finder’ For People With Sensory Overload

Dr. Peggy Bown and a patient at the Peggy Bown Dentistry in Saint John. One of the businesses in Saint John that offer sensory friendly services listed in the database. Image: Quincy Hall, Submitted.

SAINT JOHN- Sensory Friendly Solutions has launched a database that will make it easier for people to find sensory-friendly spaces around the world.

Sensory Friendly Finder is a free online tool to help people who experience sensory overload find sensory-friendly events, places, products and services. The tool, free to users, allows people to look up listings across North America as well as submit their own.

“The number of things and places that are offering sensory-friendly events and sensory-friendly hours and things of that nature has continued to grow exponentially,” says company founder Christel Seeberger.

“We realized that’s great and wonderful, but how do people find all of that? So much is happening, how can we help people keep track of that and really start to plan their daily life and trips. The Sensory-Friendly finder is really meant to bring all of that together, to put that in one easy place for people to discover.”

The directory is searchable by category or location. It also allows people to submit listings that aren’t already there.

“This is a community of people who really want to help each other out because they understand the unique difficulties,” says Seeberger. “One of the important features that we built in was anyone can submit [to the finder].”

The directory is open to submissions worldwide, at this point, there are 400-500 locations in North America entered in the database. It’s free for both businesses and individuals to make a listing, but businesses also have the option to pay for “upgraded listing” where they can add things like videos, frequently asked questions and more.

“There is a free level of listing that has all of the basic information that you might need. What is something, what are they offering,” says Seeberger.

“Then with talking to businesses, they want the opportunity to do more and add more and tell that community of people looking for them more information about who they are and what they do. There’s an opportunity for businesses to pay for an upgraded listing if they want.”

Seeberger founded Sensory Friendly Solutions after working as an occupational therapist for 25 years. She herself is also sensory sensitive, experiencing adult-onset hearing loss and wears hearing aids.

She founded the company with the mission is to make sensory-friendly information easy to find and to set a global sensory-friendly standard, making the world more inclusive to people who experience sensory overload. The Sensory Friendly Solutions Finder is one of the first steps in doing that.

“This is absolutely a problem beyond our borders of our city, of our province, and of our country. We’re rolling out here because this is where we are and I’m really committed to New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada and helping celebrate what’s already sensory-friendly here,” says Seeberger. “But this isn’t something that’s restricted at all by geography, because we understand that the further you are away from home, the further you are away from your networks, the harder it is.”