Minnesota Children’s Museum, Pal Experiences Team Up to Designate First “Pal Place” in Minnesota
Pal Place resources make attractions more accessible to children and others with intellectual and developmental disabilities
August 29, 2022 – St. Paul, Minn. – Pal Experiences (Pal), a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving as a source for accessible and inclusive adventures, is pleased to announce a Pal Place partnership with Minnesota Children’s Museum.
Pal Places are a network of organizations that commit to creating access and inclusion so that guests of all abilities have experience needs met and supported in public venues. Minnesota Children’s Museum is the first organization in Minnesota to be designated as a Pal Place.
The partnership was created to make a visit to Minnesota Children’s Museum even easier for visitors with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Through the partnership, Pal and Minnesota Children’s Museum have developed “know before you go” digital resources to help families impacted by non-visible disabilities prepare for a trip to the museum.
To create the resources, the organizations consulted with a board-certified behavioral analyst who conducted a site visit to assess existing accommodations at the museum and identify any potential sensory pain points that visitors with IDD might encounter. The assessment guided the creation of a video that aims to eliminate surprise elements and helps families prepare for a museum visit. The video explores details about what families will encounter as they play throughout the museum, as well as things like where to park, what employees wear, slower times to visit the museum and quieter areas in the museum to calm down and rest.
Minnesota Children’s Museum is dedicated to being an accessible and inclusive space to people with a wide range of abilities and preferences. “All families deserve the opportunity to experience the joy and learning that happens at the children’s museum,” said Dianne Krizan, president of Minnesota Children’s Museum. “Being a Pal Place enhances our commitment to fostering full inclusion in all our spaces.”
Pal’s tools are intended to be socially transformative, and the organization hopes to propel other businesses and entertainment venues in Minnesota into recognizing the need for accommodating this growing and exceptional community. “Minnesota Children’s Museum is for everyone, and thanks to this partnership, parents who were once reluctant to go because a family member is on the spectrum, has sensory sensitivities or gets anxious over new places can visit with the resources and confidence to make their own great memories,” said Melanie Isaacs, founder and chief inclusion officer of Pal Experiences.
View the full video and see all of the Minnesota Children’s Museum Pal Place resources at https://www.palexperiences.org/hosts/minnesota-childrens-museum.
Learn more about all of the accessibility resources available at the museum at https://mcm.org/accessibility.