What: All-Ability Program to Launch at Museum of Work & Culture for Autism Awareness Month
When: Saturdays, April 14 and 28, at 10am and 11am
Where: The Museum of Work & Culture (42 S. Main St., Woonsocket)
Museum of Work & Culture Announces Autism Awareness Month Program
Free Admission and Therapist-Led Activities Highlight Expanded Series
(WOONSOCKET, R.I.) – In honor of April’s Autism Awareness Month, the Museum of Work & Culture has announced a special expansion of its SensAbilities series for individuals on the autism spectrum and others facing sensory challenges.
Each Saturday in April, the MoWC will provide free admission for families who wish to experience the museum in a low sensory, less crowded environment. Sensory elements such as lighting and sound are adjusted, and trained staff and volunteers will be on hand to provide supplementary tools to visitors who have children with special needs.
In addition, on alternating weeks, the program will provide families free access to therapist-led art and music activities designed to help children and teens with sensory sensitivities engage creatively with the MoWC’s themes.
The first program will be offered on Saturday, April 14, at 10am and 11am. Melissa J. Weaver, LMHC, ATR-BC, and art therapist from Bradley Hospital, will lead a "Graffiti in Watercolor" activity aimed at helping participants learn more about Rhode Island’s history while exercising spatial awareness and mastery of a technique.
The second program will be offered on Saturday, April 28, at 10 and 11am. Rachel Panitch and Michelle Kaminsky will lead “Marimba Magic,” a specially designed musical program for children to interact with wood and metal xylophones of all sizes. Panitch will also bring her fiddle along to add another layer to the music being played by the participants. The gentle, yet rich, sounds of these instruments remind one of wind chimes. People often find these instruments soothing, but they may be loud for someone with sound sensitivity.
Visitors may also wish to take advantage of the tools the MoWC offers to help parents and caretakers prepare for their visit. A social story has been created as a step-by-step illustrated guide to help those on the autism spectrum navigate exhibits. Additionally, the MoWC provides checklists and “first-then” boards to better control time and sequence. These materials are available at the museum and on the Rhode Island Historical Society’s website.
These events are free and made possible with the generous support of CVS Health Charity Classic.
About the Museum of Work & Culture
The interactive and educational Museum of Work & Culture shares the stories of the men, women, and children who came to find a better life in Rhode Island’s mill towns in the late 19th- and 20th centuries. It recently received a Rhode Island Monthly Best of Rhode Island Award for its SensAbilities Saturdays all-ability program.
About the Rhode Island Historical Society
Founded in 1822, the RIHS, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is the fourth-oldest historical society in the United States and is Rhode Island’s largest and oldest historical organization. In Providence, the RIHS owns and operates the John Brown House Museum, a designated National Historic Landmark, built in 1788; the Aldrich House, built in 1822 and used for administration and public programs; and the Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center, where archival, book and image collections are housed. In Woonsocket, the RIHS manages the Museum of Work and Culture, a community museum examining the industrial history of northern Rhode Island and of the workers and settlers, especially French-Canadians, who made it one of the state’s most distinctive areas.