Meet the experts
This is a growing resource and database of professionals who work in or with museums and heritage settings to support SEND and disability access. If you would like to add your name and details to the list please download, complete and email this professionals listing form to email@example.com
Please note this is a ‘starter signpost’ not the whole map! There are many other organisations and people who work in these fields not listed here.
Mentoring, coaching, project work. Reframing the view and how to be inclusive of all humans. Why it is essential to #FlipTheNarrative. Training and coaching/mentoring relevant to your needs.
Art and creative practice
Jade French – E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jade’s work broadly examines access and participation within the arts and museology, emerging from practical experience of running inclusive and community-led projects in museums and galleries. With a background in social care, Jade has worked extensively alongside learning disabled people and supported artist studios internationally exploring creative facilitation, with a focus on issues of intellectual access within cultural spaces.
Author of Inclusive Curating in Contemporary Art
Paul has spent 16 years working in SEND education, teaching art at Westminster Special schools. He has a MA in Art and Design in Education and a Diploma in Special and Inclusive Education from the Institute of Education.
Alongside his teaching he has worked as a consultant and founded the West London Inclusive Arts Festival. Paul is currently writing a book on art, culture, and inclusion for NASEN (National Association for Special Educational needs) Paul is a practicing artist and shows at regularly at art fairs and with his gallery Thomas Spencer Fine Art.
Autism and Neurodivergence
Changing Places toilets
I am able to offer practical support and advice regarding provision of Changing Places toilet facilities.
I have worked with Local Authorities, Galleries, Museums, The National Trust and Hospital Trusts. *I am not affiliated or employed by any organisation.
Interpretation and design
Cassie Herschel-Shorland – Historical Illustration and Inclusive Design Tel: 0780 342 5526
I have in interest in illustrating the past and present. A key aim being as an alternative to or to support access to text based interpretation. I create story boxes aimed at adults, using predominantly picture or 3D interactive and tactile story prompts an minimal words, often with Braille as well as written prompts or labels. Another format often used for an object based creative workshop is ‘a day in the life’ or other zig zag visual story. I am interested in extending ‘visual stories’ to tell something about people, places and activities of our past … to tell the history of objects in museums, who used them and how.
Yorkshire Accessible Museums Network – Twitter
Sam speaks internationally at Museum conferences on inclusion (outside of the UK done virtually, online) and has inclusion articles published in the Museums Journal, SEN Magazine, Twinkl and in national press.
SEND Family & School engagement
Martin Crowther E: email@example.com
Martin is an experienced museum professional with a background in collections management and learning. He has worked with Sam Bowen since 2017 running SEND school and museums projects, co-authoring resources for the sector, delivering staff training specifically on SEND engagement in museums and using multisensory materials for open-ended learning.
At Humber Museums, we are currently embedding accessibility into our policy, procedure, practise and programming. We are working and consulting with partners to make our programming and sites accessible. A current project includes working with Deaf interpreters to create BSL film versions of text panels and the council’s sensory support team to produce large print versions of all text for our medieval gallery.
Noel Hayden E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 07831 812302
I am a freelance SEND specialist based in the south-east. I develop and deliver SEND programmes, workshops and resources, as well as providing staff training and consultancy. I have worked with venues across the UK, developing SEND programmes for sites as varied as The Box in Plymouth, Hillsborough Castle in County Down, and The National Archives in Kew. Over the past two years, I have developed new and innovative ways of engaging SEND audiences online. I also work directly with special schools and have an extensive network of contacts in special education, particularly in the London area. I developed all seven SEND sessions outlined in The Box school programme (PDF)
The Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL) has a number of established partnerships with SEND providers in its local area from schools, colleges to voluntary community organisations. It works with these partners and individuals to develop relevant and person centred approaches to programming and engagement. Examples of work has included collaborating with SEND groups as co-researchers and consultants in designing inclusive museum interactives with the University of Reading’s Art Department, overseeing Supported Work Experience Placements and developing SEND learning programmes and resources informed by consultation with SEND education establishments.
Katharine Hoare – Schools and Young Audiences Education Manager, British Museum
I develop and deliver accessible workshops and resources for young learners visiting the Museum with their school or family/carers.
I aim to ensure that spaces and activities are accessible for all and that we offer an inclusive learning environment. My work covers sessions specifically designed for students who attend a special school and I also plan support for students with additional needs in mainstream settings.
I am always happy to talk about my work at the Museum and how we have embedded SEND provision in our core programme including school workshops, galley tours, family sensory support bags, website social stories and advocating for the SEND audience in your organisation.
I work for Tyne and Wear Archives and Museum. To support learners we work in partnership with teaching staff and groups to develop workshops that provide inclusive on-line and in person learning experiences. We offer a range of workshops tailored to meet the history, literacy, and art and design curriculum that encourage children to build their practical, visual and cognitive and communication skills. On site we offer a range of resources that may help some children with additional needs cope with the busy museum environment. We facilitate and moderate inspirational Arts Award projects.
Sensory processing and sensory maps
We work with your setting to help create awareness of some of the sensory aspects which may be important for your visitors to be aware of prior to visiting including sensory processing and sensory maps.
We can provide sensory assessments of settings, create sensory access maps for temporary exhibitions /settings as well as permanent spaces. Our sensory maps will include sensory aspects important to your setting for example – noisy, quiet, bright, dark, busy, smelly areas.
Roz Meredith – Learning and Events officer at Maidstone Museum and creator of Fidget backpacks
Bag Books provide multi-sensory books and storytelling for people with severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities. The stories are told through voice and emotion rather than words and pictures.
I create SEND resources such as sensory backpacks, trails/guides, interpretation and Visual Stories with museums to enable access and an equitable enjoyment of museums, galleries and visitor attractions for whole groups. I have a commercial licence to use Widgit symbols in this work.
I deliver training for SEND awareness and engagement and on practical support on developing activities and resources. I also deliver bespoke training and site reviews, audits and resource development advice for museums, galleries and heritage sites across the UK and am a registered Mentor with GEM and Museum Development UK.
STEM and STEAM
I provide training on sensory engagement and inclusion showing settings how simple inexpensive resources and approaches can be used to capture and engage a wide range of audiences. Particularly popular with museums has been my Ambitious and Inclusive Sensory Story Telling training. Also covers: Autism and Neurodivergence, Communication, SEND Family engagement, SEND school engagement, Sensory processing & sensory maps, Staff training
Since before 2000, Lis’n Tell has been at the forefront of the use and development of storytelling in speech and language therapy. Louise’s unique combination of techniques has contributed to the innovations of teams of therapists, teachers, parent groups, Inclusive Theatre Companies and Theatre in Education Practitioners, individual children and their families across the UK and internationally. Louise and Lis’n Tell have also launched projects at The V and A Museum of Childhood, Buxton, Brighton and Canterbury Arts Festivals, The Museum of London and in numerous schools, where storytelling is increasingly appreciated and loved by children with disabilities, their siblings, parents and teachers. Louise’s collaborative storytelling performance, ‘It was a Dark and Stormy Night’, has featured in the top 5 Hitlist of Children’s shows at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Youth panels and work experience/placements
I manage the SEND Careers for All offer at Leeds Museums and Galleries. This scheme creates career aspiring activities for learners aged 11+ including work experience, outreach workshops and career taster days. Our programmes can be delivered in person or, if you prefer, digitally via zoom or teams. I am also work with other Museum sites in the UK and offer support in building your own SEND careers offer.