August 24, 2017

Experience AZ

Children’s Museum of Phoenix offers tools for visitors with autism

Partners to Assist in Learning (Pal) and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix have partnered to create a custom Pal Video and digital, mobile-friendly Pal Guide to support visitors with autism, anxiety, and other learning differences. The new resources are free to the public at PalExperiences.org, and will be celebrated during the Museum’s upcoming Special Night of Play on Saturday, August 26 from 4:30pm to 7:30pm.

Special Night of Play is an event designed for families with children impacted by special needs, offering them Museum access during a less crowded and more peaceful atmosphere compared to regular business hours. Admission is free but reservations are required for entry. Attendance is limited to 600 visitors. The event is currently sold out.

“Our mission is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of ALL children and the grown-ups who care about them,” said Kate Wells, Children’s Museum of Phoenix President & CEO. “We’re thrilled to partner with Pal because they help us fulfill our mission, and the Pal video and guide are not only beneficial for families impacted by disability, but for all families in general.”

By offering these tools, the Museum becomes a “Pal Place”, which means they’re taking steps to offer custom resources that support visitors with so-called “non-visible” disabilities, like autism. According to the 2010 US Census and the Return on Disability Group’s 2016 Annual Report, “The Global Economics of Disability”, 71 percent of the 56 million Americans with disabilities have cognitive or learning disabilities that are referred to as “non-visible”, because their disabilities are not immediately obvious.

“Fortunately, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) helped make public accommodations for people with mobility challenges much more common,” said Pal’s CEO, Adam Isaacs. “But folks with autism – and millions of others who struggle with anxiety, communication, and sensory sensitivities – are rarely offered accommodations that help them have more successful away-from-home experiences. By partnering with Pal Places like the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, we’re hoping to change that.”

Pal’s tools are designed using evidence-based best practices in behavioral therapy, and all programs are reviewed and approved by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Other “Pal Place” partners in Phoenix include the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns, with more programs on the way.