Resources

Looking for resources to help make your venue more accessible? Look no further!

Below you'll find links to free information, charities and organisations that can provide assistance

About Autism in Museums 

The Wonder House Podcast - 2021 Autism in Museums features in the 20th edition of this podcast run by Dr Sushma Jansari from the British Museum. I talk about my career before I started Autism in Museums, why access in museums is so important and the work I have been doing with museums across the country. https://thewonderhouse.co.uk/claire-madge

For Arts' Sake Podcast - In 2019 I got a chance to talk about more work in this podcast. https://forartsake.co.uk/claire_madge/

MuseumNext - In 2019 I got an opportunity to share my work at Museum Next you can see my speech and a transcript here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMVIWcMq23U

Resources written by Autism in Museums 

Autism Awareness in a time of COVID - Association of Independent Museums, 27 January 2021 [accessed 12 February 2021] https://www.aim-museums.co.uk/autism-awareness-time-covid/

Autism in Museums: A revolution in the making - American Alliance of Museums, July 2019 [accessed 30 March 2020] https://www.aam-us.org/2019/07/16/autism-in-museums-a-revolution-in-the-making/

Welcoming Young People and Families with Autism 2020 - This has refreshed the original resource produced in 2016 produced with Kids in Museums in collaboration with Autism in Museums. With thanks to  Ambitious About Autism for their help. https://kidsinmuseums.org.uk/resources/how-can-your-museum-better-welcome-families-and-young-people-with-autism/

National Autistic Society – Making Museums More Autism Friendly. Written in 2016 this explores how some museums use initiatives such as early openings and backpacks, to remove the barriers autistic people may face when visiting. https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/professional-practice/museums

Museum Hour 2020 - Autism in Museums took over #MuseumHour again this year. Lots of tips and examples of good practice can be found on this Twitter Moment https://twitter.com/i/events/1247550567846682624

2019 Monday 1st April 2019 for #MuseumHour 8-9pm. A fast paced twitter discussion about Autism in Museums in celebration of Autism Awareness Week. Guest hosts will be Kids in Museums. You can catch up with all the tweets here – https://twitter.com/i/moments/1114154954783109121?lang=en

External links -

COVID Specific Resources

National Autistic Society - Left Stranded Report, 2020. Details impact on autistic people and their families during Covid. https://www.autism.org.uk/what-we-do/news/coronavirus-report

Covid Visual Story - Cartoon Museum - Visual Story

Covid Visual Story - Maidstone Museum - Visual Story

Covid Visual Story - Ferens Art Gallery - https://www.hcandl.co.uk/sites/hcandl/files/media/Social%20Story%20Ferens%20Art%20Gallery.pdf

Autism Training and Understanding Autism 

This National Autistic Society Video – Too Much Information is great for explaining how sensory overload can affect autistic people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr4_dOorquQ&t=3s

Ambitious About Autism - Young people explain autism - https://youtu.be/xTLUYda-0O8

This video from the Autograph Gallery in London was made in conjunction with the charity Mouth that Roars. It features young artists with autism and a wide spectrum of learning differences, challenging how people like themselves are seen in the mainstream media. https://autograph.org.uk/blog/a-different-way-of-seeing/

Guides and toolkits

Visit Britain – There are a number of resources on the website from how to make low-cost improvements to access to a guide written in conjunction with the National Autistic Society on ‘Welcoming autistic people to tourism venues’. https://www.visitbritain.org/providing-access-all

Special Schools and Museums Toolkit - A unique toolkit which aims to provide museums with practical support to create inclusive and accessible experiences for people with special educational needs and disability (SEND). This is really useful if you want to work with Special Schools. [accessed 3 Feb 2020] https://southeastmuseums.org/special-schools-and-museum-toolkit/

Creative Differences: A handbook for embracing neurodiversity in the creative industries - This handbook produced by Universal Music is particularly helpful when thinking about adjustments to the workplace and recruitment process. [accessed 3 Feb 2020] https://umusic.co.uk/Creative-Differences-Handbook.pdf

Include Autism Toolkit from Ambitious About Autism - Written by autistic young people this practical guide contains information, advice and resources to increase understanding of autism and encourage simple changes that will make youth groups more autism-friendly places. This is really helpful if you consult with local groups to help make your museum more inclusive. Download the version for Youth Group Leaders. [accessed 30 March 2020] https://www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk/what-we-do/youth-participation/youth-led-toolkits/include-autism

Establishing an Inclusive Steering Committee - From Accentuate - Terry Rhodes, Chair, Gosport Heritage, talks about her experience getting local disabled people involved in Heritage Open Days through the Inclusion Group. http://www.accentuateuk.org/?location_id=2204

Sensory Explorers - Part of the Museum of London Early Years toolkit this article from the National Maritime Museum talks about working with SEND families to produce Sensory Explorer Kits to be used in the museum. [accessed 21st Sept 2020] https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/application/files/7615/5534/1272/EYT_EarlyYears_NationalMaritimeMuseum.pdf

Reports

Museum and Heritage Access Survey 2020 - VocalEyes in collaboration with Stagetext and Autism in Museums. Reflecting visitor views of how accessible museums and heritage are based on visits in the last 12 months. [accessed 12th Feb2021]  https://vocaleyes.co.uk/museum-and-heritage-access-survey-2020/

State of Museum Access Report 2018 – VocalEyes in collaboration with Stagetext and Autism in Museums. Museum websites are key to providing a warm welcome and pre-visit information. This report looks at what you need to consider putting on your website to welcome visitors with additional needs. https://vocaleyes.co.uk/state-of-museum-access-2018/

External Blogs and articles

National Museums Liverpool provide supported internships for you people with special educational needs and disabilities, 2020 Kids in Museums News [accessed 19th Jan 2021] https://kidsinmuseums.org.uk/2020/11/how-are-museums-supporting-young-people-to-develop-their-skills-in-lockdown-and-beyond/

How Museums are becoming more sensory-friendly for those with autism, Smithsonian Magazine, 5th January 2018 [accessed 30th March 2020] https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/how-museums-are-becoming-more-sensory-friendly-for-those-with-autism-180967740/

The Social Stories Spectrum Project makes museums more accessible to adults on the autism spectrum, 31 August 2018, by Debra Muzikar [accessed 9th July 2019]. The Art of Autism Blog – https://the-art-of-autism.com/the-social-stories-spectrum-project-will-make-museums-more-accessible-to-adults-on-the-autism-spectrum/

Social Stories for Autistic Children [accessed 9th July 2019] – Autism Parenting Magazine https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/social-stories-for-autistic-children/

10 Best Assistive Tech Apps for Children with Autism [accessed 8th September 2020] - DailyWireless by Luke Pensworth, 14th April 2020 - https://dailywireless.org/mobile/best-assistive-tech-apps/

Contacts

A New Direction – https://www.anewdirection.org.uk/ –

A New Direction is a London-based non-profit generating opportunities for children and young people to unlock their creativity. They have an SEND schools network.

Mencap Cymru/Wales – https://wales.mencap.org.uk/

Mencap Cymru is the voice of learning disability in Wales. Our vision is a world where people with a learning disability are valued equally, listened to and included.