Individuals with sensory sensitivities have difficulty processing certain stimuli that may be present in various situations. You can imagine that in a place such as a museum (and one that caters to children at that) there are dozens of stimulating sights, sounds, colors, or objects constantly buzzing around these individuals at all times.
The Children’s Museum acknowledged that while situations with large amounts of stimulants may be perfectly fine for most children – those who are able to process this new situation and react appropriately once prompted – for other children, being overstimulated can be overwhelming.
For children on the Autistic spectrum, for example, new, unfamiliar situations, coupled with large crowds, flashing lights, and unfamiliar noises, could prove to be quite a large obstacle they’re faced with to enjoy what some may consider a fun trip to the museum.
Based on all of the research that had been completed over the larger part of a year, prototypes that were made and tested, and data that was analyzed, we made several recommendations for accessibility improvements spanning both physical and digital platforms.
With each of our recommendations we included fully analyzed data and summarized interview transcripts to ensure that the museum retained all of the data for any future concerns about accessibility standards. Some of the accessible design features and changes that we recommended included the creation of various exhibit-focused educational games for children, improvements to the Accessibility page currently available on The Children’s Museum’s website, various accessibility features including interactive and customizable social narratives, sensory maps, and much more.
Although I am not able to show much relating to the research, prototyping, or accessibility recommendations that were completed throughout the span of this project, I’m happy to talk about it in more detail. Feel free to get in touch!