Science Centre Launches Sensory-Friendly Sessions
Dundee Science Centre is introducing sensory-friendly hours to make science accessible to all.
Starting this month, the Science Centre will dedicate its Sunday morning 9am-11.30am sessions to accommodate visitors with accessibility challenges, creating a comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone.
Yesterday, around 20 visitors from The Yard, a Dundee charity providing adventure play services for disabled children and their families, sampled the new sessions and explored other accessibility improvements recently incorporated into the visitor experience.
For example, Sensory Bags are now available for those who may require additional support. These bags contain essential items such as ear defenders to reduce noise and hands-on toys to engage visitors and provide a tactile experience. The Science Centre has also built a dedicated Sensory Zone where visitors can immerse themselves in a tranquil environment, with calming light displays, soothing sounds, and foam seating. This was designed thanks to the input of the Science Centre’s Advisory Panel made up of representatives from Scottish Autism, Dundee and Angus ADHD support group, Capability Scotland and others.
The centre has also recently introduced the award-winning app, ‘My Eyes’. Designed by Portuguese company iKi Technologies, this cutting-edge technology allows visually-impaired visitors to navigate and enjoy the various exhibits and interactive displays independently. The Changing Places Toilet also provides a fully accessible and comfortable space for individuals with mobility challenges, ensuring that all visitors can explore the Science Centre without limitations.
Isabel Bruce, CEO of Dundee Science Centre, said, “With the launch of our sensory-friendly hours and the introduction of these inclusive offerings, Dundee Science Centre is taking a significant step towards creating a truly accessible and inclusive environment for all. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to engage with science and experience the wonders it has to offer.”
Her views were echoed by local grandmother Carol Taylor who attended the event with grandson Charlie – “Visiting the Science Centre during the sensory-friendly hour was an absolute blessing. It was wonderful to have a dedicated session that wasn’t overcrowded, as busy environments can quickly become overwhelming for children like Charlie. The consideration given to creating a calm and welcoming atmosphere allowed him to fully engage with the exhibits and explore at his own pace.”
The Yard works with children and young people with additional support needs through adventure play sessions in Dundee, Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy. The service offers creative and inclusive play experiences in a well-supported environment, alongside wraparound support for the whole family, with a varied programme of drop-in, respite and transition youth clubs, early years, specialist sessions with schools, family play sessions, plus inclusive play and disability training.
Dundee Science Centre’s sensory-friendly sessions run every Sunday from 9:00-11.30am. For more information, visit www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk.