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Workshop - Serving the Differently-Abled: Neurodiversity in Museums

Learn how to create a welcoming museum environment for visitors with Autism

Friday, November 15, 2019
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM (EST)

Event Details

Join fellow museum colleagues for interactive presentations highlighting how your museum can better serve those with differing abilities. Based on research and the personal experiences of the speakers, you will walk away with the ability to identify the needs of both visitors and staff members with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other intellectual disabilities, and with tools to craft a neurodiverse and welcoming space for those groups at your facility.

Participants will be invited to engage in a practical takeaway exercise to identify areas of improvement in their facilities. The last part of the day will be dedicated to a question-and-answer session with a parent panel of local parents of children with special needs representing all ages, backgrounds, and levels of interest in museums. This is a practical, experience-based workshop meant to help you be the most welcoming space you can be for those groups in your community. A representative from the local chapter of the Autism Society will also be available to offer advice and direction. Bring your problems, your concerns, and your success stories. Don't miss out on this timely discussion centered on accessibility and inclusion. This program will be beneficial to anyone who who engages with the general public, such as educators, curators, visitor services, or museum leaders. 

Featured Speakers:

  • Leslie Clements, Special Projects Coordinator, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

  • Cody Long, Museum Educator for Curriculum and School Programs, Chrysler Museum of Art

  • Nicole Miller, Resource Coordinator, Tidewater Autism Society 

  • Jackie Spainhour, Autism Parent and Museum Director, Hunter House Victorian Museum

  • PLUS a discussion with a parents panel of children with Autism and other intellectual disabilities 

 Virginia Certificate in Museum Management Credit:

  • Education and Outreach


November 15
9:30 AM - 10:00 AM Registration Check-in
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Morning Presentations
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Lunch break
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Presentation & Discussion with Parent Panel


If you register by Wednesday, November 13 - You may add a box lunch order to your registration

If you register on Thursday, November 14 - You may not add a lunch


Please provide attendee contact information for tickets purchased. It is preferred that each attendee register themself in order that event history is correctly tracked in each attendee's profile. If you are not a member, consider joining to take advantage of the discounted member rate.

Having trouble? We're always happy to help! Contact VAM at 804.358.3170 or email