The National Museum of Archaeology and the National Museum of Natural History are the first two museums in Heritage Malta’s portfolio to introduce autism-friendly measures. The initiative was announced by youth worker organisation ‘Prisms’ at a press conference at the National Museum of Archaeology.
In addition, visits to both museums are now facilitated by visual social stories and sensory maps available on Heritage Malta’s website. The maps highlight areas of the museums which might prove to be sensorily overwhelming to people on the autism spectrum, due to bright lights, loud audio, glass floors or chemical smells. The quiet room, which is a space where visitors may retreat in case of sensory overload, is also highlighted.
The visual stories provide people on the autism spectrum with a preview of what they would be experiencing in the museum, thus creating a sense of familiarity prior to the actual visit. Through numerous photographs, social stories also provide visual details that ease the visit further, such as the location of lockers and restrooms, as well as accessibility.
In its commitment towards increased accessibility for all sectors of society, Heritage Malta plans to introduce autism-friendly measures in other museums and sites. More information regarding the current measures may be obtained via email on email@example.com