The Discovery Museums Especially for Me Free Events for Children with Developmental Challenges continues through 2017.
Popular series offers free museum access for families of children with an autism spectrum disorder, are deaf or hard of hearing, or have a visual impairment.
The popular free program series began in 2010 to offer families an opportunity to play together when the museums are closed to the general public or capacity is limited. Admission is free, and families may come and go based on their child’s needs without concern for cost or access. Parents also have the chance to meet other families in similar circumstances. It can reduce feelings of isolation often described by families dealing with special needs.
The Museums provide special resources appropriate to each event. This may include noise-reducing headphones, audio-description devices, sensory-based programming, or American Sign Language (ASL) language facilitators. Additionally, food including gluten-free options is provided for all evening events.
The Museums work with various local organizations to serve Especially for Me audiences, provide trainings for Museum staff on topics of inclusion, and provide on-site resources as needed. These include the Boston Children’s Hospital Deaf & Hard of Hearing program, Autism Alliance of MetroWest, Perkins School for the Blind, Massachusetts Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired, and the Decibels Foundation.
All Especially for Me events are free to attend, but preregistration is required. Dates and registration links can be found online at http://bit.ly/EspeciallyforMe.
Free Sensory-Friendly Afternoons (during public hours, but no school groups or birthday parties will be scheduled at this time) are on the following Tuesdays, 1:30 – 4:30pm:
Jan.3, Feb. 7, March 7, April 4, May 2, June 6, Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 5.
Free Autism-Friendly Evenings (closed to the public) are on the following evenings, 5:00 – 8:30pm:
Feb. 4, March 11, April 8, May 6, July 15, Aug. 19, Oct. 7.
Free Evenings for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Children (closed to the public) are on the following evenings, 5:00 – 8:30pm:
Jan. 14, May 20, Aug. 5 and an additional date to be decided.
Free Mornings for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Infants and Toddlers (closed to the public) will take place at the Children’s Discovery Museum, 9:30am – 12:00pm,
Monday, March 6 and Monday, October 2.
Free Visually Impaired Family Evenings (closed to the public) are on the following evenings, 5:00 – 8:30pm:
April 22 and an additional date to be decided.
Especially for Me is part of the Museums’ Open Door Connections program to provide opportunities for those who face a variety of barriers—financial, developmental, or cultural—to experience the Museums. Open Door Connections and Especially for Me are funded through grants provided by the The TJX Companies, Inc. and Yawkey with additional support from the Digital Federal Credit Union, the Adelard A. Roy and Valdea Lea Roy Foundation, the Nathaniel and Elizabeth P. Stevens Foundation. Also from the Schrafft Charitable Trust, Morgan Stanley, Foundation, Boston Bruins Foundation, BAE Systems, NYPRO and the Local Cultural Councils of Chelmsford, Concord, Harvard, Lexington, Marlborough, Needham, Newton, Stow, Tewksbury, Waltham, and Wayland.
Metrowest Mamas does its best to make the event information listed as accurate as possible, but event and venue information is subject to change without notice, and Metrowest Mamas is not responsible for erroneous information or the reliance upon it. Always call your destinations ahead of time to confirm dates, times, locations and admission fees.