Visitors with support needs
For general access information, please see the University Access Guide to the Museum.
For an audio-description introducing the museum, please listen here.
The resources below have been developed for families with children on the autistic spectrum but may be of use to all visitors with additional needs.
Visiting with children on the autistic spectrumThe Museum of Natural History is proud of its family friendly status but recognises that visiting with children on the autistic spectrum can be challenging. We hope that the resources below will help you feel more confident before your visit by providing a visual introduction to the museum and by highlighting some of its more sensory aspects.
Because of ongoing changes at the museum since it re-opened in 2014, these resources are a work in progress. Please note:
- In May 2015, a new permanent exhibition called 'Sensing Evolution' opened. The exhibition includes two tables of touchable objects, objects in small glass domes, and raised images. There are also two touchscreens. The tables of touchable objects have replaced the tables previously in the fossil aisle. The Shetland pony featured in the suggested route is also being replaced, by new freestanding touchable animals, including a Red Deer stag. The exhibition is in the front left corner of the main court.
- There is now a small touchscreen located between the shop and the main doorway.
- We are still preparing the two designated Quiet Spaces. In the meantime, if you need directing to a quieter part of the museum, the staff at the Front Desk will be happy to advise you.
- The Allosaurus (Dinosaur) Donations Box has moved and is currently located half-way down the corridor on the far-left of the Main Court, just beyond the model of a ship and the glowing rock highlighted in the suggested route.
We recommend that you first read the About the Museum guide, which includes lots of descriptive information about the museum and displays, and then use the Planning Your Visit guide as a tool to prepare children for their visit and give them objects to look for when they are here.
The pictures in both guides should give you a sense of the different spaces and displays in the museum. We have focused on objects and areas that are unlikely to change much, but please be aware that things do move around from time to time so may not look exactly the same as they do in the pictures or from one visit to the next.
For further information or advice regarding visiting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01865 282456. Please click on the images below to open the PDF resources.
We will be updating the resources later in the year and welcome any feedback in the meantime: email@example.com