Sensory-friendly event at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Sensory-friendly event at the Florida Museum of Natural History
Published: Jan. 30, 2022 at 6:48 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The “Museum For Me” event allows children and adults with disabilities, specifically those on the autism spectrum, to have their own morning visit.

The museum opened before operating hours to have the experience less crowded.

Access to every exhibit was open to visitors, along with specific adjustments to bright lights and loud noises.

“We positioned signs at the beginning of each gallery, indicating changes in lighting and if there is sounds. And even to the extent, in some of our hands on areas, I put out sounds that say ‘This is loud’ when you push the button” said coordinator, Catherine Carey.

A quiet room was available for anyone who needed a break from the environment.

As the morning continued, over forty visitors came through the museum.

Parents say having these sensory, friendly activities is important to them and their family.

“It means that we have another way to engage with our community. Just to be in a safe place and knowing your kids are in a safe place is wonderful” said Naomi Goolsby.

Organizers from UF’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities informed visitors on the services they offer.

“I have a thirty-year-old son. He’s here with me today. And so I’ve been on this journey at least this long. Its nice to share that with other people and let them know there’s hope and there’s cool people like this that do nice things for us” said Margie Garlin.

The “Museum For Me” visit began in 2017 and has provided an inclusive environment for all that participate.

As the event ended, it was clear which exhibit was the favorite.

“It was that ship right there”

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