We welcome children and adults on the autism spectrum at all times at The Salisbury Museum. However, we also understand that there can be challenges for people on the spectrum when visiting public spaces and that they and their families can experience judgement and misunderstanding.
Our Relaxed opening times are a designated period of time when we pro-actively welcome neurodiversity by doing a few things to give people the confidence to visit us and expect understanding when you do.
What can you expect during relaxed opening hours:
- Visual Story – this is always available on our website but this document, based around photographs of the museum, can help people prepare for your visit. Copies will also be available at Reception
- Quiet Space – Our Meeting Room on the first floor will be available as a quiet space for anyone who needs to take some time out, there will be some quiet paper-based activities in the room and a copy of our visual story
- Times – We try to pick times when the museum is usually fairly quiet. We can’t control when groups choose to visit us but our museum galleries are generally a quiet and calm spaces
- Engagement volunteers – the volunteers in our galleries are always available to tell you more about the museum or help you find your way. During relaxed hours they will be wearing an ‘I Can Help’ badge to make it clear that they are there to be approached if you have a question
- Interactives – all our videos and our touch table will be on during relaxed hours but we will turn off the soundscape in the Wessex Gallery
- Touch and senses – as always there are some opportunities to touch objects in the drawers and cupboards in the Wessex Gallery. There are costumes to try on in the Costume Gallery and some colouring activities in the Salisbury Gallery
- Trails – There are some children’s trails available from Reception that can help focus a visit to the museum by enabling young people to work towards something as they move through the gallery. (We have adult trails specifically for Relaxed Opening Hours in development)
- Maps – Laminated maps of the spaces in the museum can be picked up from reception when you arrive
- Lanyard– for those who find unsolicited social interaction really difficult you can pick up a green lanyard from reception when you arrive, If you are wearing a lanyard, our staff won’t approach you to talk to unless you ask a question