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Ryan, loves his AFL. He proudly wears his hat and scarf every week and gets behind his favourite players as they show their talents on the field. Previously, Ryan has had to watch games of AFL from home, on the TV. But now, thanks to Afford’s partnership with Hawthorn, a sensory space will be available throughout the 2020 AFL season for individuals with sensory sensitivities.

Enjoy The Afford Lifestyle

Ryan joined Afford in November 2019. Afford supports Ryan to live independently in a group home in Cranbourne. The Team Leader at the Afford home, Josh, supports Ryan to develop his skills for everyday life.

Ryan develops his skills in cooking for himself and his housemates. He learns about being responsible for the upkeep of his room.

Get Out into the Community

But most importantly, Ryan is supported to get out in the community and enjoy the local parks, activities and events.

As part of Afford’s partnership with AFL team, Hawthorn, a special meet and greet for AFL fan, Ryan, was organised.

For Ryan, getting to meet some of the legends of AFL such as coach of Hawthorn FC, Alastair Clarkson, and captain, Ben Stratton, was a dream come true.

Ryan was excited to visit Hawthorn headquarters. Josh supported Ryan to travel to Hawks HQ at Waverley Park to get amongst the players and, as Ryan would put it, ‘talk footy’, with his heroes.

“At Waverley Park, Ryan was able to take in the atmosphere and watch the players train. He thoroughly enjoyed watching the drills, seeing the player rooms within the club and had a chance to chat with the coach”, said Joshua Kent, Team Leader of Afford’s Cranbourne home.

Afford’s partnership with Hawthorn also means that footy fans with sensory needs and their families can now support their team, enjoy the stadium experience and access the sensory space at all Hawks 2020 season home games if they become overwhelmed or need a break.

Afford, in partnership with Hawthorn will provide a sensory space at all Hawks home games across the 2020 AFL season.

The inclusive sensory friendly space caters to children and adults with sensory sensitivities and incorporates both calming and stimulating zones. The room will have a calming space with sensory lighting and visual displays, a cocoon area for visitors to chill out and relax, bean bags, air cushion, cuddle ball, comfortable seating and a lightwave floor, and activities such as colouring and putty.

Visitors to the sensory space can also watch the game on a separate large screen and TV screens with reduced noise.

Find out more about Afford partnerships and how Afford is working to encourage inclusive communities.