Port Discovery is on a mission to make play accessible to all children — and that now includes children with sensory sensitivities. Recently certified by KultureCity as a sensory-inclusive attraction, the museum has taken steps to enhance their play experience for individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD and other similar conditions. Beginning in March, Port Discovery will offer monthly Sensory Friendly Times.
“Our goal at Port Discovery Children’s Museum is to ensure that the Museum is welcome to people of all abilities, and that all children and families can enjoy the playful learning and unique experiences the Museum offers,” said Bryn Parchman, President & CEO of Port Discovery Children’s Museum. “The training, materials and certification provided by KultureCity support our work to help all of our guests have a welcoming and enjoyable experience.”
In addition to becoming certified as sensory inclusive, Port Discovery is launching a monthly Sensory Friendly Time for visitors and members. Starting on Sunday, March 8, the Monthly Sensory Friendly Time will be offered from 11 AM to Noon on the second Sunday of each month. During Sensory Friendly Time, Port Discovery will be adapted to provide a sensory-friendly environment for visitors and members with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) , learning differences, and other sensory or communication needs. Advanced tickets are required, and space is limited. For more information and to purchase advance tickets, please visit https://www.portdiscovery.org/accessibility-sensory-friendly-resources.
To build on Port Discovery’s ongoing efforts to support guests experiencing sensory sensitivities, Port Discovery staff received additional training by KultureCity on how to recognize guests with sensory needs, how to help handle sensory overload situations, and how to use sensory bags and supplies to help individuals with sensory sensitivities or challenges. In addition, KultureCity supplied Port Discovery with sensory bags, which are equipped with noise-canceling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget tools, and verbal cue cards (produced in conjunction with Boardmaker). The Museum also received and installed signage around the Museum to denote potentially loud areas where noise-canceling headphones might be helpful and quiet areas where guests can relax.
Prior to visiting Port Discovery, guests can download the free KultureCity app to see what sensory features are available and where they can access them. The app also includes a photo preview of what to expect while visiting Port Discovery.
Editor’s Note: This article was compiled from a press release from Port Discovery.