Engagement and Inclusion
A new year brings new steps toward implementing diversity, equity, access and inclusion initiatives, programs and extended exhibition materials at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History. With the intent of offering a more accessible, inclusive and enjoyable experience for visitors, MOAH will be providing bilingual English/Spanish translations of exhibition information and offering sensory-friendly programming for those families with children experiencing autism or other hypo/hyper-sensitivities beginning with the exhibition Golden Hour: California Photography from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art opening in February 2021.
In developing sensory-friendly programming at MOAH, staff began by researching the obstacles that those experiencing autism face when going to a public institution such as an art museum. Based on this research, a survey was created and disseminated locally in both Spanish and English with the help of AV Seed and Grow Cultivar y Crecer, a Lancaster-based 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to “empower, educate, encourage and protect individuals and families of individuals with special needs in the Antelope Valley.” The nine-question survey was designed to help the museum best understand the needs of families experiencing autism and other hyper/hypo-sensitivities.
Based on direct feedback from the community, MOAH is developing a myriad of programs including special open hours, sensory-friendly tours for small groups, hands-on arts activities for children and a Take-A-Break Space where guests can use self-calming tools in a darkened, quiet environment. During special open hours MOAH will reduce auditory and visual stimuli in the museum by lowering the lights and limiting unexpected noise. Staff will also be trained in how to best accommodate visitors experiencing autism through training provided by AV Seed and Grow Cultivar y Crecer. In light of COVID-19 restrictions, sensory-friendly programming will be limited and announced officially at a later date.