I am very aware that lots of you are looking at the website for resources to understand autism and to think about how you can make your museum more autism friendly as well as train staff and volunteers during this difficult time when everyone is on shutdown.
I am delighted to refresh the Kids in Museums Autism resource, first produced in 2016, which provides a framework for understanding the changes needed to welcome autism families and young people. We have expanded the further reading section so there is lots to access while you are working from home. You can see the resource here – https://kidsinmuseums.org.uk/resources/how-can-your-museum-better-welcome-families-and-young-people-with-autism/
I have also written a blog for Kids in Museums which highlights how museums have changed and adapted over the last four years since I worked on the first version of the resource. I am thrilled at how much has changed and proud to have worked with so many museums and heritage properties in developing and shaping their programmes. You can read the blog here – https://kidsinmuseums.org.uk/2020/04/autism-in-museums-four-years-on/
You will also find some new additions to the resources list on my Autism in Museums website. I have included a little bit more about those new additions below –
Ambitious About Autism – Include Autism Toolkit – This is a really useful resource written by autistic young people. There is some great general advice about what autism is, it explains what meltdowns and shutdowns are and has tips for working with autistic groups. This is really helpful if you are considering co-curation or working with an access panel in the future. https://www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk/sites/default/files/include-autism-toolkit-youth-group-leaders.pdf
The Creative Differences Handbook from Universal Music looks at how to embrace neurodiversity with in the creative industries. There are useful suggestions on how to change your workplace culture and make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process to diversify your workforce. https://umusic.co.uk/Creative-Differences-Handbook.pdf
I have also added a talk I gave at Museum Next and a podcast that I recorded which explain about my Autism in Museums work, you can find those on my resources page.
World Autism Awareness Day is important but it is just one day, I will continue to work to ensure autistic visitors young and old get choice and access to heritage. I want to thank everyone who has supported my work and I am really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together over the coming year.