This is a practical guide on how to create accessible and inclusive museum experiences for special schools and SEND ( special educational needs and disability) families.
This toolkit is product of a South East Museum Development Programme project linking museums with special schools in Kent.
It highlights simple, low-cost improvements you can put in place, with case studies from Kent museums and signposts to best practice elsewhere in the UK.
Samantha Bowen is a Museum Development Officer in Kent, she has worked in museums for twenty years, during this time she became a parent to a child with severe physical and learning disabilities, this led to her obtaining first hand experience of lack of inclusion or appropriate offer to SEND audiences by many museums.
This experience inspired her to set up a project in Kent, and, working with a skilled museum and heritage learning consultant, they worked with three museums and special schools to create low cost improvements to make museums more welcoming accessible to SEND families and schools.
These case studies along with practical advice are bought together in the Special Schools and Museum Toolkit which is free for downloading using the link below.
The toolkit is lighthearted and assumes no prior knowledge of SEND audiences or their needs, but a glossary of terms is included which should help with the jargon.
Thank you to Sam Bowen for her incredible work on bringing this project to life, to the museums and schools involved in the case studies, and to Martin Crowther for working with Sam to develop this project.