AAMSE Position Paper on "Ethics"
- AAMSE is a professional organization dedicated to the promotion, research, understanding, appreciation, application and science of Multi Sensory Environments (MSE).
- AAMSE acknowledges that in order for the MSE to become an accepted therapeutic approach a body of solid scientific research must be encouraged, supported and pursued.
Therefore AAMSE and its members, in recognition of its ethical obligation will strive to adhere to the following principles:
- MSE facilities will make an effort to identify key area stakeholders (schools, support, advocacy groups, universities, clinics) and strive to educate them regarding the goals and missions of the MSE.
- Participants, families and professionals using or referring MSE services will receive an educational orientation as to the goals and objectives and procedures involving MSE.
- Any potential medical, sensory, behavioral, emotional or cognitive challenges for MSE participation must be addressed by appropriate personnel.
- With the recognition of reality based business models, every effort shall be made to make MSE participation available to individuals and their families without regard to their financial resources.
- MSEs should recognize their obligation of promoting the field of MSE by their participation in education, research and public awareness programs.
- MSEs shall recognize, celebrate and support the vitality and uniqueness of the individuals they both serve and employ.
- MSEs should reflect the best practices of dignity, respect, fairness and equality.
- MSE will adopt and maintain strict rules of client confidentiality.
- MSE staff shall be trained and encouraged to pursue ongoing continuing education in the use of theoretical models compatible with MSE use.
- All research must be IRB (Internal Review Board) approved.
- All research, even observational in nature, must secure participants permission.
- Records and files will be maintained in a manner reflective of standards used to insure security and preservation.
- All participants invited to participate in research studies must have informed consent; if the person has a guardian the consent must be signed by them in compliacne with HIPPA regulations.
- MSE will secure permission and releases before using any photo of clients for promotional or educational purposes.
- No claims without peer reviewed research will be made as to any therapeutic outcomes.
- MSE installations will address and adhere to both regulatory and local facility safety and health practices (including fire safety, sanitizing of equipment, mats, etc., local codes relating to construction, electrical, etc.)
- Periodic inspection of equipment and support devices shall be made and records of inspections and restorative work recorded. Records should be made available to interested parties.
- MSEs will maintain records of any critical incidents and evaluate them for the purpose of preventing future incidents.
- MSEs will provide supervision adequate to assure the safety of participants in all room activities.
- MSE installation will strive to maintain an interdisciplinary team to oversee its operations.
- MSE installations will create and train personnel in emergency preparedness (fire, evacuation, power failure, floods etc.)
- MSEs should be designed and built, where feasible, to accommodate participants regardless of their challenges, disabilities, special needs and supportive equipment.
- MSE Practitioners should be mindful of both the potential therapeutic value of the MSE as well as the sheer pleasure of being in a joyous environment.
- MSE Practitioners should be mindful of the potential to inadvertently over stimulate clients and strive to address and avoid that occurrence.
- MSE protocols should always allow and encourage “choice and empowerment” to the participant.
- A thorough knowledge of the prospective participant's or patients “needs” as well as sensory preferences (likes/dislikes) must be shared, appreciated and considered prior to engaging in a sensory program.
- Individual goals and objectives (trial, ongoing, evaluation/assessment) must be outlined, understood and agreed upon before MSE enrollment.