Local museum offering ‘sensory-friendly night’ for children with disabilities

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Children in Albuquerque with disabilities can enjoy a special night out with the museum and a movie, all thanks to a ‘sensory-friendly’ night. The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is working hard to make people with autism and other disabilities feel welcome.

The sensory-friendly nights are designed to help increase accessibility since busy, crowded environments can be difficult for them. That means the lights are dimmed and sounds are lowered.

“This is a population that we don’t feel we are reaching out to enough,” said Rachel Veracka, Director of Visitor Experience at the museum. “We want to serve everybody in our community to the best of our ability and this is one we really need to reach out to and see what they need from us.”

The museum will be open with low sensory exhibits. Kids will even get to see the museum’s animatronic dinosaur Bisti Beast without worrying about too much noise.

“We’re going to lower some lights, we’re going to turn some of our exhibits off or turn them down,” said Veracka. “The Bisti Beast comes to life and she can be pretty vocal, so we’re going to tone her down for the night.”

A big feature of the night will be a Dyna Theater movie showing in 2D in an expression-friendly atmosphere, unlike traditional theater experiences. The museum says the movie, Superpower Dogs, is fitting, as it showcases real-life extraordinary dogs, including those working with special needs.

“We’re going to have a special showing of Superpower Dogs in our Dyna Theater, so that movie is all about support dogs and dogs in all sorts of service capacities,” said Veracka.

The event is at a discounted rate of $5 per person and tickets can be purchased in advance. The museum and movie night will run from 5:30-8 p.m. on Thursday, with the movie starting at 6:30. The Hope Cafe will be open for dinner until 6.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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