All posts by Mark Tyler

Mark Tyler

About Mark Tyler

Mark is our in house web designer. When he's not polishing Rompa's website to a high shine Mark enjoys mountain biking in the Peak District and playing Bob Dylan, rather badly, on his guitar. Google +

Digital Donkeys

On a chilly afternoon in January with Rompa’s Marketing Manager Kayleigh, our IT Director Graham and I found ourselves at a donkey sanctuary just outside Knottingly, near Pontefract.

Our mission: To discuss online marketing strategies and how Wonkey Donkey can improve their website and online presence. We talked about the opportunities available through Facebook, Pintrest and Instagram pointing out that the donkeys are a content generating resource in themselves.

After our meeting we had the opportunity to meet the donkeys and Jenny took us through all their backstories. All of theses stories began with heartbreaking tales of mistreatment by previous owners. There was always a happy conclusion to these tales of woe, the turning point being the donkey’s rescue by the Wonkey Donkey Sanctuary.

Find out more about Wonkey Doneky’s work



Congratulations to Research Autism’s Geoffrey Maddrell

mandrellCongratulations to Geoffrey Maddrell who has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June for services to business and charity. The Queen’s Birthday Honours List recognises the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people from across the UK.

Geoffrey has been active and passionate in his commitment to making Research Autism a success, working tirelessly towards achieving a better quality of life for people with autism and their families. Indeed, Geoffrey has clocked up many hundreds of miles running marathons and half marathons for the charity, raising tens of thousands of pounds in the process!

The Rompa Apprentices

In recent months Amanda and Harvey have joined the Rompa team as part of the Government’s apprenticeship scheme. Amanda has taken on the role of installations administrator and Harvey is learning the skills to be an IT technician. As a business, the apprenticeship initiative means that we can give two young people that crucial “foot in the door” and introduce them to the world of work. Read on to find out how Amanda and Harvey are finding working for Rompa:

Amanda GodfreyAmanda Godfrey – Installations Administrator

As I previously worked as a care assistant, my interest was always trying to make the lives of others better and more enjoyable. This paired up with Rompa brilliantly as it is a company that creates educational/ calming/ fun environments for people with sensory impairments and other disabilities.
As I have studied A Levels for two years, I have become very organised and able to meet deadlines and work under pressure. These skills transferred brilliantly into the role I applied for as it is based around administration.

Before I came to Rompa I was working as a domiciliary carer for the elderly, mainly people with dementia. This involved going out to the service user’s house and providing as much or as little care they needed. It ranged from making them breakfast to hoisting them out of bed.

This is my first full-time job, as I previously only worked part time due to studying a levels at college. It is very different to being in education as you get on the job training and knowledge that can only be gained through doing an apprenticeship or placement.
The most interesting aspect about my role is making the product information packs and the installer’s packs. By putting these together I get to see the design of the sensory rooms as well as the visual of what it will look like after it is complete. I also get to learn about the different kinds of products that are used in both sensory and soft play rooms and how they are used.

The skills I have brought with me are being organised as that was a skill I had to learn through studying A levels, being able to work to a deadline this applied for essays at college and also working to a timed rota at my previous job. Being able to work in a team or independently is a skill I developed working as a carer because certain service users had two carers and others only needed one which meant you got to work with others but also developed skills working individually.

The skills I’ve had to learn whilst on the job is using my initiative a lot more, as an apprentice you are being trained by someone else and if this person is busy you have to think for yourself and decide what tasks you can complete on your own and what things you need further training on. I have also developed better communication skills as my role includes liaising with customers over the phone. This was something I wasn’t comfortable with before, but since working for Rompa I have become more confident talking to customers.

I am definitely being kept busy! On a daily basis I check job cards, look at orders in suspense, enter data into spreadsheets, and create documents such as job sheets, risk assessments and service agreements. I put together product information packs and the documents that the installers take with them to each job. I arrange appointments for site surveys and confirm dates for installations. I send out checklists to customers and update the installer’s diary with all the relevant information so that all of the engineers know where they are supposed to be and what they will be doing there. My day flies by, but in my opinion this is a good thing. I love every aspect of my role and the people I work with, I love learning new things every day and being able to make my colleagues jobs a little bit easier.

Harvey LewisHarvey Lewis – IT Administrative Support

I joined Rompa as an apprentice I.T technician in September 2014. Before joining Rompa the only work I had ever done was at school so I was obviously nervous as I had never been into a work place before but the team couldn’t have made me feel more welcome.

I’ve always had an interest in technology and spend much of my time uploading videos to YouTube and growing my own gaming channel which I had been doing for 3 years. I have also taught myself to use graphic design packages, motion graphics and video editing software. I’ve always loved playing around with technology and solving problems with my home computers. Having got to grips with the software aspect of IT I thought I would change direction and apply for an apprenticeship and learn about the hardware side to broaden my opportunities.

I got paired with Rompa because the passion I show for technology and also all the work I have done over the past few years in IT and at school. I feel that with my experience in design software I can really bring something to the company and can help troubleshoot issues with these packages, but I also feel that I can learn a lot as well. I chose an apprenticeship because I know I am a person who learns a lot better by doing a task rather than having it explained to me by watching someone else do it. An apprenticeship just suited me better than college.

This is my first job and the biggest difference I find is being a lot more independent, personally I prefer working compared to school because it is mostly learning on the job by actually doing a task. And everything I learn is something I have an interest in which just makes the days more enjoyable. After being with Rompa I have already learnt a whole lot about networking, servers, hardware and the list goes on. I have enjoyed my time with the company so far and I am definitely pleased to be an apprentice at Rompa.

Isn’t That Pinteresting?

We’ve been busy, very busy playing with our new favourite website… Pinterest. If you don’t know what Pinterest is yet then climb out from under that rock and let me share with you the wonderful world of pins and boards that is Pinterest.

Pinterest is all about collecting images (pins) of things that interest or inspire you and displaying them in categories (boards). You can then share your boards with others on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and any other social network you are part of. Those of you who regularly use social media will know that the best way to get people to engage with any post is to attach something visual to it, this is what Pinterest plays on.

Pinterest is different to other social networks because the image comes first and this inspires the written content. This approach means that even if you don’t have much to say you can very quickly make your Pinterest account a visually appealing and “pinteresting” place to visit. We always find ourselves clicking on an interesting pin and disappearing down a virtual rabbit hole that leads to a board, that leads to a user profile, that leads to more pins and boards and more users… such is the pull of Pintrest.

Pinterest is a great way of sharing ideas and Rompa product assistant Tania has been creating boards around her passions and interests as an Occupational Therapist, so without further ado, lets dive in.

Tactile Sensory Input

Super Sensations! Here you will find loads of different tactile fun items! We select carefully considering different surface textures, shape, temperature, materials as well as items to use with other textures such as soil, sand, water, dough or clay.

Follow Rompa’s board Tactile sensory input on Pinterest.

Oral Motor & Chewing

Many different products that can be used to give more oral input such as texture, vibration, temperature or exercise muscles by blowing or sucking.

Follow Rompa’s board Oral Motor & Chewing on Pinterest.

Sensory Lighting

A wonderful range of different types of light. Glowing, Ultra Violet, Flashing, Soothing, Interactive, Sound Responsive… use them to alert or calm, for fun or therapy, for assessment or intervention.

Follow Rompa’s board Sensory Lighting on Pinterest.

Sensory Corner

A few simple components can create a real impact. Bubble tubes, fibre optics, padded bases and laser sky project combine to produce an interactive and immersive experience.

Follow Rompa’s board Sensory Corner on Pinterest.

Sound Sensations

All of these items have a wonderful sound reward.

Follow Rompa’s board Sound Sensations on Pinterest.

Rehabilitation Products

Useful for recovery and rehab.

Follow Rompa’s board Rehabilitation Products on Pinterest.

Visitors from Across the Pond

This week we welcomed George Carmel and Crystal Paulitzki to Rompa HQ. George is the CEO of Flaghouse Inc, the company that owns Rompa, and Crystal is General Manager of Flaghouse’s Canadian operation.

Rompa and FlaghouseThe week was filled with productive meetings with Rompa suppliers and several of our international partners also made the journey to Chesterfield to take advantage of the opportunity to meet George and Crystal in person.  One of Crystal’s primary roles is the promotion of Snoezelen in Canada and her first trip to Rompa revealed lots of opportunities for collaboration in the future.

Thanks to George and Crystal for taking the time out of their busy schedules to come and see us.

Tobii Launch Gaze Viewer

What is Tobii Gaze Viewer

Tobii Gaze Viewer works as an assessment tool for SLTs (SLPs), teachers, parents, educational psychologists or anyone else wanting a better understanding of the user’s capabilities.

Tobii Gaze Viewer

Tobii Gaze Viewer

With Tobii Gaze Viewer and a Tobii assistive technology eye tracker you can record real eye tracking data from any application like the Internet, e-books, games, movies and more. You can save the data as single images or movies, with heat maps and gaze plots and use it to assess an individual’s physical capabilities and cognitive understanding and for making simple reports for eye gaze assessments, clinics, schoolwork, reading comprehension, clinical comprehension and much more – all done easily and instantaneously.

What can Tobii Gaze Viewer be used for?

There are virtually limitless assessment and testing uses for Tobii Gaze Viewer, some of them are:

  • Comprehension testing
  • Reading/literacy assessments
  • Cognitive/processing delay assessments
  • Reminiscence testing
  • Low pressure testing environments for children
  • Proving cognition in low functioning adults
  • Validating the potential use of an eye tracking AAC device for communication

Assess. Understand. Report. Easily with Gaze VIewer

The tagline of Tobii Gaze Viewer is “Assess. Understand. Report. Easily.” and Tobii have tried to build all of their marketing communication around it.

Assess – Tobii Gaze Viewer can be used to assess an individual’s physical and cognitive understanding. It helps to answer several questions like: Can the user see the screen? Can they select a button? Do they recognize certain items?

Understand – Use Tobii Gaze Viewer to understand, not only the end result of an action, but also the process for getting there. Discover what content is right for an individual user, if they are looking at relevant information or following along while you are reading.

Report – With Tobii Gaze Viewer you get undisputable, recorded proof of an individual’s current abilities and skills as well as how they develop over time.

At Rompa we’re very excited about the potential of Tobii products to improve the quality of life for those with restricted movement by allowing them to engage and communicate with family and carers more easily.

Autism Awarness Offer 25% Off Our Sensory Corner Kit

Create your own Sensory Corner

Create your own Sensory Corner

A few simple components can create a real impact in a sensory corner. Bubble tubes, fibre optics, padded bases and wireless switches combine to produce an interactive and immersive experience.

NEW for 2016 – Snoezelen® Sensory Corner Kit

This kit includes some of the most popular elements of a Snoezelen® Multi-Sensory Environment and has been designed to be installed easily (without the need of professional help). The Sensory Corner Kit is comprehensive and affordable.


The sensory corner kit includes:

The products can be enjoyed passively, as they will change colour in sequence, or interactively using the 8 Colour Wirefree Switch (included). You may wish to purchase Fish and Sea Creatures (21193), Bubble tube balls (15203 / 21799) or Cubes 21145 to another visually exciting element to your bubble tube.

Rompa Award Leads to Sensory Integration Expansion Within OT Services

Samantha Shard received the 2013 Rompa Quality of Life Award. The aim of this project was to develop occupational therapy services for school aged children who have a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). The project focused on sensory processing difficulties, considering both modulation and praxis in children aged four to seven year olds, who were current patients of the OT service within Bassetlaw Health Partnership (Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust).


Sensory Integration Equipment

A therapist with sensory integration training and a technical instructor held weekly sensory integration sessions over eight to twelve weeks. The main aim of this was to support attention skills as a foundation for learning and to identify and address motor planning difficulties impacting on occupational performance.The Rompa award supported an OT to complete the Sensory Integration Module two/three training through the Sensory Integration Network. The voucher funded essential resources required to enhance the sensory integration experience and encouraged the child to lead the planning of activities.

Goal attainment scaling was used to measure the effectiveness of attending these sessions and proved beneficial in capturing positive changes in the attention and tactile processing skills. This project has had a significant impact on the OT service within Bassetlaw Health Partnership. A successful outcome has highlighted the relevance of a sensory integration approach with different patient groups within the paediatric service.

As a direct a direct result of this project, joint working has improved among allied health professionals and joint clinics are being explored with infants and toddlers. The profile of the service has also been raised dramatically together with an increase in other services/agencies understanding of what sensory integration is. The importance of sensory Sensory integration training within the occupational therapy service is being recognised and supported across of staff levels. Further sensory integration clinics are being planned to continue the ongoing development of this approach within the OT paediatric OT service.

First published in OT News, February 2014