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On Sunday, April 2, the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum (The Discovery) welcomed 52 visitors – families with children on the Autism spectrum or with sensory and perception disorders – to Discover Your Way. This is the largest turnout since the start of the New Year, and we are happy to see this program succeed!
Discover Your Way is a program generously funded by the Marshall R. Matley Foundation, in partnership with Easter Seals Nevada that makes a huge impact on the families of children with special needs. Discover Your Way began as an annual program at The Discovery in 2012. To grow the program and audience, we launched Discover Your Way as a monthly program in January of this year, designed to meet the needs of children on the spectrum of Sensory and Perception Disorders, including Autism. During this program, The Discovery opens from 10am-12pm on the first Sunday of each month, in order to facilitate an understanding environment exclusively for these families. We do so by removing some of the additional stimuli of our regular exhibits and crowd.
The Discovery has also partnered with Easter Seals Nevada—a 501(c)(3) organization that provides services to ensure people with special needs have equal opportunities to live, learn, work, and play in their communities—to enable visitors on the spectrum of Sensory and Perception Disorders and their families to experience a quieter museum space with trained Educators and Visitor Services Representatives through the Discover Your Way program. This program serves as a low-risk entry point to the museum, which gives families the opportunity to build confidence in their interaction within space and with staff. As a partner, Easter Seals is providing quarterly training to all visitors and staff during select Discover Your Way programs, as well as other informational resources.
The April Discover Your Way event was hosted on World Autism Awareness Day, marking the beginning of World Autism Month. During this month, the Autism community is supported and recognized by efforts from Autism Speaks, an organization devoted to creating awareness and acceptance of people on the autism spectrum, and related disabilities. In order to make this a global effort, Autism Speaks created a campaign called “Light It Up Blue” on April 2, during which national landmarks and business buildings in over 150 countries glow in blue light!
The ultimate goal of the Discover Your Way program is to encourage and increase opportunities for these unique visitors to return and enjoy The Discovery during regular museum hours.
Interested in bringing your child to the next Discover Your Way? Come join us on the first Sunday of each month, with upcoming Discover Your Way events happening on August 6th, September 3rd, and October 1st. For details about Discover Your Way and other upcoming events at The Discovery, check out our calendar of events!