Engaging children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) virtually through lockdown

During the Covid 19 lockdown University of Cambridge Museums wanted to engage remotely and maintain relationships with our pre-existing audience of children with special educational needs and disabilities. According to government statistics in January 2020 12.1% of all school pupils have a special educational need, and we have two main programmes for children with special educational needs and disabilities. Arts Pioneers, for …

Supporting teachers and students from Autism Spectrum Condition specialist schools to engage with the Natural History Museum, March, 2021

Championing diversity to create an inclusive organisation is a core value for the Natural History Museum and will help us achieve our strategic priority to engage and involve the widest possible audience. To build on the Museum’s knowledge of how to engage neurodiverse children and their families, the Audience Research and Insight Team teamed up with Access and Inclusion Advisor, …

Making Rhondda Heritage Park: Welsh Mining Experience Autism Friendly, February 2021

Back in 2018, Rhondda Heritage Park: Welsh Mining Experience, began a partnership with the National Autistic Society and other local family autism groups. The idea was to be accredited with the Autism Friendly Award by the National Autistic Society (NAS) by making the site more accessible to additional needs groups. At the beginning, it felt quite daunting as the main …

Roman Review, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, Ashton Lamont, 2019 in review

Roman Review. Spent yesterday afternoon with twin thing 1 at the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre‘s Autism friendly Romans workshop yesterday and what an utterly fantastic day it was! A pleasant environment, wonderfully helpful and approachable staff plus a brilliant and interesting array of activities – just enough to keep everyone entertained but not too many as to be overwhelming – made …

Museum accessibility for autistic adults in the ‘new normal’ – MA dissertation, Jan 2021

Lydia Shacklock Since beginning my MA in Museums and Galleries in Education at UCL Institute Of Education, my focus has been on cultural access and inclusion. This is partly due to working with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) individuals in a professional capacity, but primarily due to my sister’s additional needs, including autism, having significantly shaped my worldview. When …

A great year for blogs- 2020 in review

In the last year Autism in Museums has been asking for your contributions to the blog. It has been great to hear about relaxed openings, understanding how sensory play can be brought into the museum and research to help make museums more accessible. It was also brilliant to hear from autistic voices sharing what they have enjoyed this year. As …

Careers for All – Leeds Museums and Galleries by Carl Newbould, Dec 2020

When phone rang and I was offered a job at Leeds Museums and Galleries (LMG) to manage Careers for All I remember being stunned and silent. I was both incredibly excited but also apprehensive about entering a role so specific to SEND. I have a specialism in AEN (additional educational needs) which I picked up from my teaching degree at …

Autistic Adults in Museums, MA dissertation by Elizabeth Blake, Dec 2020

In September of 2020 I handed in what, in hindsight, seems like an inevitable piece of work. It was my dissertation for an MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies at the University of Manchester, examining what the adult autistic community required from museums in order to make them more accessible. I essentially grew up in and around heritage sites …

Putting the community first at the London Museum of Water & Steam, Nov 2020

At the London Museum of Water & Steam we have four values which we try to live out in everything we do. Helpful, Knowledgeable, Inclusive and Fun. But how do you live those values in the middle of a global pandemic which has closed your Museum? For us it started with asking the question “who needs our help?” and the …