A new initiative is being launched at The Brampton Museum, in Newcastle-under-Lyme to help make visits more comfortable for people with autism.
A quiet hour is being introduced at the popular Council-run heritage attraction where sounds and lights will be adjusted between 10am and 11am every Saturday – starting from 20 April – and a quiet room will be available.
The new initiative is being announced during World Autism Awareness Week – a campaign run by the National Autistic Society until 7 April.
Autism is a developmental disability affecting how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. People on the autism spectrum face many barriers in museums as bright colours, noise and interactive displays, involving all the senses can pose difficulties and result in sensory overload.
Cllr. Mark Holland, Cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage, said: “The Brampton Museum is a fantastic cultural gem that attracts thousands of visitors every year because there is always something interesting to see and do for all ages.
“More than 1 in 100 people have autism and it affects how they see, hear and feel the world. The transition from bright to low-lit galleries, audio from exhibitions, crowds, visitor noise, hand driers in toilets – and other factors – can often be overwhelming and cause considerable anxiety. The Council wants to make the museum even more accessible, and make visits as enjoyable as possible, by offering a regular time when it’s calm and quiet.”
Cllr Holland adds: “The museum will, of course, still be open to all visitors but the Council asks that everyone respects the quiet hour. Suggestions on how the visitor experience can be improved are welcomed from everyone.”
A floorplan is also being published on www.bramptonmuseum.co.uk so that visits can be planned in advance and visual timetables, providing details of activity trails, will be given to children on the autism spectrum as a guide to provide a degree of structure.
**Read Baba’s general Review about The Brampton Museum here.