St. Joseph Home

Name of Non-Profit Organization *

St. Joseph Home

Organization's website

Federal Tax ID Number *


Address *

10722 Wyscarver Road
Cincinnati, OH 45241
United States

Your Name *

Renee Russell

Your Title *

Development Director

Contact email address *

Contact Phone Number

(513) 563-2520

What is the mission of your organization?

St. Joseph Home creates a home for non-ambulatory children and adults who have severe/profound developmental disabilities. Attention to the individual's medical, social, educational and spiritual development reveals the uniqueness of each person. The Home, a non-profit ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, offers a creative, loving environment for those in the residential and respite programs. Compassionate care and respect for the dignity of life are the hallmarks of St. Joseph Home.

Which social causes does your agency address through its programming?
(Check all that apply)

  • Disability Issues
  • Health

Most schools have between $1000 and $1500 to grant. How could your organization use a grant of this size? *

A grant would allow us to update the sensory room at St. Joseph Home. A sensory room (also known as a multi-sensory room) is a place where children and adults with special needs can explore and develop their senses and skills.

St. Joseph Home is a residence and respite center for children and adults who have severe/profound developmental disabilities. The people served here use wheelchairs, communicate without speaking, and have high medical needs.

While our residents have been enjoying our existing Sensory Room for years, much of our sensory equipment is worn out or broken, and an overhaul is needed to bring the room up to date with current technology. A grant would go a long way toward refurbishing this important room.

Some of the sensory equipment needed for St. Joseph Home's project includes several large bubble lamps and a fiber optic spray light system that can be seen, touched, and manipulated. We would also like to update our audio equipment to allow our residents to make their own choices about what they would like to hear. We’ve found that the iPad is wonderful for this! A surround sound stereo system will be installed in the room. A SmartBoard would also enable our residents to make choices, communicate, and experience visuals on a larger screen. A new or refurbished Somatron system would give our residents a comfortable, beanbag-like place to relax, while simultaneously delivering sound and vibration for a complete sensory experience. A new interactive texture board would give residents a satisfying experience of touch, and at the same time would teach cause-and-effect. An aromatherapy steam diffuser could set a relaxing or energized mood, depending on the need. Our re sidents already enjoy weekly aromatherapy, with excellent results, but an updated diffuser system is needed.

Any other comments you would like to share with the students who might be reviewing your request?

The use of Sensory Rooms in facilities serving people with developmental disabilities is common, and is recommended in many Individual Education Plans (IEP’s).

The 48 residents and numerous respite guests at St. Joseph Home are all non-verbal, and many have hearing and/or vision loss. For them, experiencing the world through their senses can be challenging, but extremely important.

We strive to creatively connect with each of our residents and respite guests through one or more of their senses. Many of our residents enjoy and respond to bright lights or colors, funny sounds, or music. Being able to present these stimuli in an otherwise uncluttered environment, without distractions, is helpful. Our residents can sometimes be overstimulated. A quiet, calming room with no visual or auditory distractions would be beneficial for soothing a resident who is upset or overwhelmed.

A sensory room can engage children and adults who can learn through play. Users can follow bright lights, shapes and patterns with their eyes, or press buttons to make the sensory room change color, or even watch the color change to the beat of the music. Users will become interested in their environment. Also, due to the flexible functionality of the multi-sensory room, it can also be used to calm and relieve stress.

The concept of a sensory room is quite simple: place a person with special needs in a pleasant environment where the distractions of the outside world are completely absent, present them with music and attention-grabbing moving colors and shapes, and then add the ability for the person to actually make things happen that are so dramatic that they cannot be missed, and you have the building blocks of real progress. It really works!

Both children and adults become interested in their environment. The overactive can be calmed, the inactive become interested. The partially sighted can see the vivid moving colors. Those mobile can chase the slowly moving images. The whole room can change color by applying pressure to simple switches or pressure pads. Colors can move or change simply by making a noise, and for those with severe special needs the sensory room can be set to automatically change programs, giving a constantly changing and interesting environment that is probably the most pleasant environment they have ever experienced, even if all they can do is lay and enjoy it!

The goals of our Sensory Room are to connect with our residents, and to provide them with the opportunity to experience their world through as many senses as possible. We measure the success of our goals by charting an IP or IEP for each individual, and documenting successful interactions and accomplishments.

Does your organization have volunteer opportunities available for high school students?


List possible volunteer opportunities -or- a link to where they can be found on the web.

Volunteer coordinator

Amy McMahill

Volunteer coordinator's email address

Volunteer coordinator's phone number

(513) 563-2520