Sensory Friendly Centre County

Sensory Friendly Centre County (SFCC) is a community-wide initiative by the ACRES Project. Its mission is to make the Centre Region more accessible to those affected by autism and sensory processing disorders by offering FREE sensory comfort bags to local businesses and public spaces. At a Sensory Friendly venue, patrons who feel overwhelmed by the environment can borrow a sensory bag and use the items inside to help themselves feel better.

Sensory bag items

Each Sensory Bag Includes

  • Playdoh to relieve stress and stimulate tactile senses
  • Sunglasses for those sensitive to lighting
  • Fidget toys for calming tactile and visual stimulation
  • Earmuffs for those sensitive to noise
  • Crayons & activity books to help pass time and distract from overwhelming environments
  • Sanitary wipes to clean items after use

What Is Sensory Processing Disorder?

Approximately 1 in 5 people are affected by a sensory processing disorder (SPD), a condition which affects the way the brain processes and responds to sensory input. Because the brain is unable to "filter" and interpret stimuli effectively, people with SPD may be oversensitive to certain stimuli, undersensitive, or both.

Everyday environments can create an overwhelming feeling of anxiety, "sensory overload," or even physical pain in someone with SPD. This can make everyday activities like shopping, eating out, or attending a performance difficult. Sensory Processing Disorder affects all ages. It commonly occurs alongside neurodivergent conditions such as autism, ADHD, and anxiety, but not everyone with those conditions has SPD.


Sensory Processing Disorder affects everybody differently, but the following senses are most commonly affected:



Individuals with this kind of sensory processing disorder may be especially sensitive to light, glare, or visual clutter. They may also need extra time with reading, judging distances, or recognizing objects.



People with SPD may be sensitive to physical touch and textures. They may avoid certain fabrics or textures, refuse certain foods, or actively seek out some sensations. This kind of SPD can also make a person over or under-sensitive to pain, temperature, or touch.



Individuals with an auditory processing disorder may perceive everyday sounds as much louder or quieter than others do, and they may need extra time to process verbal instructions. Hearing loss is three times more prevalent in individuals with autism and can cause anxiety, making communication and social interactions challenging. This informative page from the National Council on Aging contains excellent information on hearing loss and anxiety, including practical tips and strategies from experts.

Body Awareness


Also called proprioception, this sense uses information from our muscles and joints to tell us where our body is in space. People who have difficulty processing this kind of input may bump into people or objects, have difficulty keeping their balance, or feel a frequent need to jump, spin, or move.

BECOME SENSORY FRIENDLY! Participating organizations receive...

Sensory comfort bags to be loaned to patrons upon request
Recognition on this website      
 "Sensory Friendly" signage to welcome patrons to your business

If you are interested in participating in Sensory Friendly Centre County, please contact Becca Stroschien at can't wait to help make your organization more inclusive and welcoming to all!

There is no charge for the bags or the training, however donations are always welcome to help us sustain this valuable program and bring sensory inclusiveness to even more places in the community!

Visit These Sensory Friendly Locations: