PYD’s National Center, which advocates for full inclusion of youth with disabilities and provides inclusion training to other organizations, completed a second round of inclusion training for the Pacific Science Center (PSC) in early May. The topic was, “What We Say, How We Say IT, What We Do: Applying Inclusion Strategies in a Museum Setting.”
Located in Seattle, the Pacific Science Center inspires a lifelong interest in science, math and technology by engaging diverse communities through interactive and innovative exhibits and programs. Their award-winning, interactive programs reach more than 1.3 million people each year, on the museum campus, as well as within schools and throughout the community.
The Pacific Science Center has demonstrated a priority to making its programs more accessible for kids of all abilities through its “Exploration for All” Initiative, funded by Safeco Insurance Fund. Their focus on access has been recognized nationally and was recently showcased on NPR’s All Things Considered. PSC opens two hours early one Saturday each month for families with kids and young adults with autism, dimming the lights and reducing the noise while drastically cutting down on the crowds.
“It has been an amazing journey, that all started with Safeco and [PYD’s] workshop,” PSC’s Kelly Posewitz said about the experience of creating this opportunity. “That day was so eye opening. To be quite honest, prior to your workshop, I never thought of inclusion as a way to enhance everyone’s experience at PSC. I thought it would be more focused on the communities that we hoped to serve and what can we do for them. Instead we are learning that through our inclusion efforts we enrich the experience for everyone (staff and visitors alike!) and in turn create a more rich audience with new perspectives and insight. By embracing the different ways in which we all learn, we can all grow. I love it.”