Sensory Accessibility: Shifting Mindsets to Create a Way Forward - RSA

Sensory Accessibility: Shifting Mindsets to Create a Way Forward

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  • Accessibility & inclusion
  • Fellowship

Imagine how challenging it would be to access museums, galleries, theatres, any cultural spaces, if doing so caused pain and anxiety. Imagine the isolation and feelings of exclusion when so many cultural spaces are closed off as your central nervous system is on overload.

Millions of people in the UK experience sensory overload every single day.

This can include - but is not limited to - people with Autism, Dementia, Down Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder. Those with Sensory Processing Challenges may feel extreme anxiety in being in crowds, noise may cause pain inside the ear, and bright lights may cause headaches or migraine.

One individual with Autism, Morgan Salisbury, is trying to address this cultural isolation, by creating Sensory Accessibility staff training for staff in museums, galleries, cinemas and more. This free online resource is actively helping cultural institutions open up their doors.

Deborah Hogan, of Historic Royal Palaces, said the training course is “...incredibly helpful".

Hayley Youell, of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance, said:

"The training is rooted in personal experience, giving it real integrity and power to help shift mindsets and increase awareness”

So what does Sensory Overload feel like?

Morgan has created a visual resource called 'Doris at the Museum' to show the inner world of Doris, who has Dementia. Morgan is continuing to work alongside cultural spaces and is proactively providing feedback on Quieter Events. She is looking for help in spreading the word about her staff training and welcomes feedback regarding this resource.

Morgan said:

“I am so passionate about helping others as I have experienced sensory overload all of my life, and want to help others access cultural spaces in ways that they otherwise couldn’t. This has a huge impact on wellbeing and physical and mental health.”

You can find out more about the work Morgan is doing on or get in contact directly through email.

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