Colour cartoon of girl in wheelchair arms outstretched to a stuffed lion in a museum display case

The SEND in Museums website is part of an Arts Council England and National Lottery funded project run by museum professional and SEND parent Sam Bowen. It is a ‘live’ growing resource for the cultural sector which advocates for the inclusion of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in cultural spaces. It also showcases best practice and we welcome case studies and blogs from professionals in this area. Please contact us at

We believe that museums are transformative spaces that can inspire moments of wonder, magical discovery and meaningful engagement with all visitors. SEND children and young people have the right to those same experiences and their inclusion is valuable not just to their own development and wellbeing but to that of their families, friends, museum staff and the wider local community.

Our aim is to embed a commitment to SEND audiences within the museum sector by 2025 and see inclusive staff, services and facilities as standard practice. This, in turn, will make a positive impact on social inclusion and wellbeing by providing equal access to culture which every child is entitled to.

In this website, we use person first and social model language as far as possible, with a focus on access need rather than diagnosis. One reason for this is that people with the same diagnosis, can present with very different needs. Also your visitors are first and foremost people, we encourage you to remember this and see meeting their access needs as a way of them getting the most out of your amazing offer.

This has been a collaborative project and supported by many professionals, parents and young people to who we give our thanks.

Statistics and terminology are from 2020 (unless updated with * – please note terminology used is England based, some differences will occur even within the UK).