Community Groups Praise Attraction’s Accessibility Efforts
A range of charities representing ‘assisted needs’ groups have enjoyed a sneak preview of the visitor attraction they helped design.
Opening to the public on Saturday 26 June 2021, Dundee Science Centre’s CONNECT transformation incorporates many features that were co-designed by its Assisted Needs Advisory Panel.
The panel was brought together by Tutti LED (Learn, Enable, Design) by Advocating Together and included representatives from Advocating Together, Capability Scotland, Dundee and Angus ADHD Support Group, Dundee Voluntary Action – Mental Health, PAMIS, Scottish Autism, Tayside Deaf Hub and Blind Society.
Last week, a number of groups visited the Centre prior to its official unveiling, giving their perspectives on the sensory room, Changing Places toilet, new Café Create and various piece of accessibility equipment and resources. They also explored inclusive communication, wheelchair accessibility, parking and reception areas, and the role that seating, lighting, exhibits, and sound can play in the overall visitor experience.
The group also influenced the team’s training, ensuring they are equipped to deal with all visitors, adults and children alike, providing all users with a positive experience.
Advocating Together (Dundee) SCIO is an independent advocacy and capacity-building organisation that benefits people with learning disabilities and or autism and or complex communication needs.
Gillian Kelly (Advocacy Worker), Advocating Together said, “The group really enjoyed their visit to Dundee Science Centre and it was great to see what they had done to make the attraction accessible and so welcoming for people, including the individuals we support.
“Some of the group who visited commented on the Sensory room, saying it gives the place a calm and peaceful feel. Others commented on how spacious the room was for wheelchair users in particular. Overall, our group were very impressed with the layout of the ground floor and how smart it was. One member in particular, who has worked closely with the CONNECT project on one of the designs, felt it was great to see his ideas come to life”.
The £2.1M CONNECT refurbishment has transformed the ground floor into a custom-built hub with improved scope for events, talks and workshops celebrating community work, as well as a new welcome area, under 7’s exhibition area, sensory zone and an array of brand new, highly interactive exhibitions.
Rebecca Duncan, Head of Development, commented, “CONNECT aims to strengthen Dundee Science Centre’s position within the city’s tourism, education and cultural fabric. Because we are passionate about being accessible and inclusive, we want everyone to feel welcome.
“By building on the relationships we have been cultivating within our communities for over 20 years, we decided to drill down to the needs and wishes of these groups, ensuring that our exhibits, environments and programmes reflect their needs, and make the centre a relevant and welcoming place to visit and enjoy. It’s fantastic to hear their feedback as we prepare to re-open.”
For more information, telephone (01382) 228800 or visit www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk.