Start a Program or Event
These are three models of museum-based Events
which emerged from my research.
Which model is the best fit for your museum?
The Community Choir
1 or 2 passionate leaders who get things started and can direct a band of people to get things done.
Graduate Student Capstone
Community of staff comfortable with small changes to normal routine
Outside training yearly
A strong core team who specialize in access programs and inspire the rest of the museum to join in
Sporadic private Events
Funding led to Regular Events
Existing Access initiative
Funding led to Events
Adapted free-choice learning
Interactive Resource Fair
High-engagement, intensive tour
Steady Corporate Funder
1 Small Foundation +
1 Corporate grant
Host of small foundations and large matching grant
Constant outside + inside training
Inside training per event
Make sure you can support these Must Haves:
1. Champion… and then Partner!
All sites described a Champion in the Event’s beginning. Champions burn out.
2. Partners Inside and Out
Board and museum-wide buy-in takes time.
Work with other museums.
Reach out to your community.
Remember, "Nothing About us Without Us."
3. Expert Accessibility Training
A main feature of these events is families’ confidence in trained staff. Professional Development for staff improves overall guest experience during regular hours as well.
A well designed evaluation helps you improve the event, showcases the event to funders, and makes everyone accountable.
5. Autism Advisory Group
This resource can help the museum use resources efficiently and effectively. A main goal of many of these events is to make the museum a welcoming, safe place for visitors with family on the autism spectrum. An Advisory Group can help the museum best accomplish this goal and look toward future programs and opportunities.
6. Start thinking about how to improve and add more events for people with ASD
Make sure you fully welcome people with autism into your space by creating a range of experiences and opportunities.