About Autism in Museums


Autism in Museums is a new initiative to raise awareness of accessibility for all in museums.

My name is Claire Madge and I have been sharing autism in museums best practice and events on my main blog https://tinctureofmuseum.wordpress.com/ and via my main twitter account @TinctureofMuse since 2012. It felt like the right time to bring all those blogs, resources and autism events together onto one site.

I have three children and two are on the autism spectrum, it was when we were judges for the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Award when I really watched how my kids reacted in museums. It can be hard for us to visit in regular hours sometimes because of anxiety or sensory overload – when there is too much noise and sensory stimulation.

When I wrote about our visit to an Early Birds Autism Friendly session at the Science Museum I was amazed by the number of people who read the blog and got in touch. That blog has been read over 6,000 times and it really highlighted to me the need for more programming for autism families and supported visits.

In the last few years I have been encouraging museums and galleries to think about autism in museums and how they can encourage more families and adults to come. I have worked with a number of museums including the Natural History Museum, the V&A, the Jewish Museum and Pitzhanger Manor to support their programming and early events to welcome autism families. In 2017 I also worked with the Museum of London on a work experience project for young autistic adults and you can read about that on the blog.

In 2018 I was delighted to be awarded the Museum and Heritage Award for Volunteer of the Year for my work to make museums more autism friendly. http://awards.museumsandheritage.com/feature/volunteer-of-the-year-award-individual-2/


To find out more about me take a look at my Tincture of Museum blog or get in touch.

Conferences and talks –


Madge, C. (2019) Autism in Museums – SEND in Museums Conference, South East Museums Development Programme, 2nd July 2019, Brooklands Museum, Surrey. https://southeastmuseums.org/support/training-sharing-skills/send-in-museums-conference/

Madge, C. (2019) Autism in Museums – MuseumNext, 2-5th June 2019, London. You can view this speech here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMVIWcMq23U

Autism in Museums Training Day in collaboration with Kids in Museums, 9th May 2019, Museum of Liverpool https://kidsinmuseums.org.uk/2019/02/new-training-programme-for-2019-launched/

Madge, C. (2019) Museum Marathon – What did I spend the money on? Museums Showoff, 22th January 2019, The Phoenix, London. https://museumsshowoff.wordpress.com/


Madge, C. and Marcus, C. Kids in Museums (2018) – Inclusive Museums – Autism in Museums – Museums and Heritage Show, 16 March, Olympia, London

Madge, C. and Corsini, A. (2018) Making a difference for autistic young adults, Heritage Volunteering Conference, 13 April, Museum of London. https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/support-us/volunteer/heritage-volu

Madge, C. and Corsini, A. (2018) Making a difference for autistic young adults, West of England Learning Symposium Heritage Health and Wellbeing, 7 March, Chippenham. http://www.southwestmuseums.org.uk/heritage-health-wellbeing/


Madge, C.  and Creighton, L.  (2017) Making a difference for autistic young adults, Society of Museum Archaeology (SMA) Conference 2-3rd November, Sheffield. http://socmusarch.org.uk/conference/

Madge, C. (2017) Autism in Museums, Association of European Jewish Museums (AEJM), Museum education study trip, 11-13th September, Jewish Museum, London. http://www.aejm.org/educational/previous-mes-etp-editions/museum-education-study-trip-london-2017/

Madge, C. (2017) Autism in Museums, Visitor Experience Forum (VEF), Visitor Experience Seminar, 4th August, Museum of London, London. https://vedf.weebly.com/seminar.html

Madge, C. (2017) Autism in Museums, Kids in Museums Carnival, 10 January 2017, Tate Modern, London. https://kidsinmuseums.org.uk/2017/01/30/kids-museums-carnival-roaring-success/

Madge, C. (2017) Autism in Museums, Museums Showoff, 24th January 2017, The Phoenix, London. https://museumsshowoff.wordpress.com/


Madge, C. (2016) Autism in Museums, Kids in Museums, Welcoming Families with Autism Workshop, 9 February 2016, Science Museum, London. https://storify.com/kidsinmuseums/welcoming-families-with-autism-workshop