Each third Friday of the month, from 5-8 p.m., the Museum will lower sounds and lights, and post signs on interactive exhibits that communicate which buttons will trigger audio.
“The idea is to create a calmer atmosphere,” said Russanne Hoff, curator of education. “When a sound unexpectedly comes through a speaker, that can be tough for some kids–and adults.” Hoff added that while the Museum is turning down the volume on exhibits, it isn’t asking patrons to whisper or stop talking.
“It’s a balance. We’ll want visitors to be aware that we’re trying to deliver a specific atmosphere, but we also want them to have fun. That means talking, laughing, and asking questions,” she said.
Low Sensory hours are a simple way for the Museum to make all patrons comfortable. As members of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the Museum closely follows AAM’s working group on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI). When determining how to best adapt its environment, the Museum turned to Aaron Bly of Kids and Dreams Foundation, based in Kenesaw.
Hoff said Bly has been a great resource for the Museum. “Last year he and his team put together a training session for our staff on how to best develop programming for kids who are on the autism spectrum. He gave us so many great tips that we could implement right away. We knew he’d be a great resource.”
Regular admission rates for the Museum apply during Low Sensory hours, which occur on the Third Friday of each month. All are welcome.