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Long before the advent of cinema, the use of computer-generated imagery, or the founding of DreamWorks Animation, static images were brought to life through a variety of devices.

People engage with the Museum in a variety of ways. Access programming at the Museum recognises that everyone should be able to engage in the way that works best for them.

Access programming takes many forms. It can be for people who are unable to engage geographically, economically, educationally, physically, linguistically or intellectually with our services.

An adult holds a book while reading to two children.
Special guest Morouge Ali from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates shares a book with young visitors on IDay

International Day of People with Disabilities

A decorated Christmas tree with two students sitting in front it. - click to view larger image
Lighting the Christmas tree

Lately there has been some pretty exciting access programming happening. On International Day of People with Disabilities (IDay) we welcomed over 400 children with varying abilities, their carers, teachers and parents.

We made some impressive craft inspired by animals in the collection, watched a guide dog puppy demonstration, and patted the therapy alpacas and two of the Pegasus horses.

We also turned on the Christmas tree lights and hung out with our friends from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (who hosted the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi).

We heard from Tim Miller whose Lids for Kids movement has saved millions of plastic lids from landfill to make artificial limbs for children.

This was the 10th year that the Museum participated in IDay and it just keeps getting better. We can’t wait for next year.

DreamWorks exhibition

DreamWorks Animation is a fantastic, interactive and colourful exhibition for the whole family, but it can be overwhelming for kids and adults with autism or sensory sensitivities.

As with previous exhibitions, we teamed up with ASPECT (Autism Spectrum Australia) to audit the exhibition and adapt it for those who require a less stimulating experience.

Quiet hours has been a great hit with the public. It features reduced visitor numbers, lowered volume on media displays and additional sensory experience indicators. We hope to roll out a version of this across the new galleries as they are developed.

For the first time we also developed a sensory map that showed areas of high noise or bright lights in the exhibition gallery. This has proven popular with our access audience, as well as those who are keen to see what is around the next corner of the gallery.

Social Stories

The next step in furthering access is the development of Social Stories. These stories are designed to help visitors with autism best prepare for their visit to the Museum. They provide a step-by-step guide, with accompanying photos, to help visitors anticipate every aspect of their visit. They will be developed in consultation with ASPECT.

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