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Yorkshire enterprise launches research into improving neurodiverse museum experience with new grant

A Yorkshire social enterprise has announced that it is launching a new arts council project to improve museum experiences for neurodiverse people.

Sporting Heritage is partnering with the British Golf Museum to launch The Neurodiverse Museum, following an Arts Fund grant aimed at improving museums for autistic individuals.

The 8-month Neurodiverse Museum project will undertake a research programme of current and previous activity in the field of autism and museums and deliver a range of resources and training for the sector, using the British Golf Museum as a test site.

Dr Justine Reilly, project lead and founding director of Sporting Heritage, commented: “Because museums and galleries have tended to consult with the (usually non-autistic) parents of autistic children, rather than autistic adults with lived experience of autism, the resulting activity largely excludes rather than includes – for example quiet hours and gentle stand-alone art projects.

“But Autistic people are not one homogenous group, and museums offer many opportunities to respond to the wide and varied needs of these individuals through their collections, workforce and venues. To do so though, we need to involve #actuallyautsitic people.”

Rebecca Prentice, curator at the British Golf Museum, said: “We are so excited to be working with Sporting Heritage and The Neurodiverse Museum project.

“It’s vital that we listen and respond to the needs of the neurodiverse community and make their experience in our museums as inclusive and fulfilling as possible.

“It’s a real opportunity to develop our offering as a national museum to a wider, more engaged audience.”

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