Engaging families with autistic children in outdoor museum spaces, Natural History Museum, June 2020

By Laura Davison and Marie Hobson, Audience Research and Insight Team, Natural History Museum, London, U.K. audienceresearch@nhm.ac.uk The Natural History Museum has embarked on an ambitious project to re-connect people and nature, known as the Urban Nature Project (UNP), through transforming our outdoor spaces and developing a national programme of activity. To ensure that our redeveloped Gardens and associated family …

Museum and Heritage Access Survey 2020

VocalEyes together with Stagetext and Autism in Museums are researching the museum visitor experience for people who use access support – this may be facilities, resources or events. We are undertaking a national survey of visitors which is the first of its kind. It will reveal what people with access requirements need from our museums and heritages sites, and how well …

Early Morning Explorers at the British Museum, April 2020

In 2019 the British Museum launched its Early morning explorers’ events; relaxed sessions for families who would benefit from visiting the museum in a quieter environment. The events are for both children and/or parents with sensory processing requirements including Autism so that families who would otherwise be unable to attend can enjoy the Museum together. These were set up in …

Museums To You – Transport Week 2, 30th March

We hope you enjoyed Dinosaur Week last week. This week has been all about transport with trains, aircraft, cars, buses, ships and even a submarine! Monday – Aircraft – Dot-to-Dot We began with a Dot-to-Dot – Spitfire from the @RAFMuseum https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documents/ALD-London/Spitfire%20dot%20to%20dot.pdf Ship – Game Voyage to Van Diemen’s Land with this brilliant game. It takes a bit of time, choose …

Autism Awareness Week Resources 2020

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 …

Relaxed Opening – Antony Gormley, Royal Academy of Arts, Feb 2020

Antony Gormley Relaxed Opening: Sam Ahern I was lucky enough to be invited to a relaxed opening of the Antony Gormley exhibition at the Royal Academy back in November 2019. This was the first my relaxed opening for an exhibition that I’d been to. I had gone to other events like Tate Lates, so this was something of interest to …

Quiet Sessions at the National Civil War Centre, Newark, Jan 2020

Sensory Backpack

We first introduced “Quiet Hours” here at the National Civil War Centre in January 2019 after consulting with a local autism support group PAACT. Their founder Gordon, very kindly met me at the centre and we took a tour, carefully making notes in each gallery and space, detailing what may cause obstacles for our guests with sensory issues. Once that …

Volunteering at ‘Devil’s Porridge Museum’ – Alistair’s story

I have been volunteering at Devil’s Porridge Museum for about 4 months now, along with 3-months of work experience I did back in 2016. I came back with ‘Employability Scotland’ to expand my work experience, gain more understanding in museum activities and improve my social skills with staff. Since returning I have tried to prove myself a cable (or at …

Early and Evening Explorers at London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum held it’s first Explorer event for families with additional needs back in 2014. This came out of a family’s feedback that a quiet time to visit was needed for their child as the Museum gets very busy and loud. We started with two mornings for the year but as of 2019, we now run 7 events annually; …