Special schools & groups with SEND
Our approach to making museum learning accessible
The Great North Museum: Hancock aims to be accessible for all. The museum offers opportunities for learning at many levels, links to a range of topics and interests and is a great environment for investigation and play.
For detailed information about accessibility in the building, see our accessibility page. There are also more details about accessibility of learning activities here, but we have added the the main details below.
If your group would benefit from seeing the space as preparation for your visit, you can take a tour of the building which will also allow you to identify spaces which are loud, have different lighting levels or provide sensory or interactive opportunities
We are committed to making our workshops accessible to your group, in collaboration with you. We are happy to adapt any of our existing workshops, or to develop a bespoke experience. In practice, this could be changing our workshop content or delivery to match the needs of your group, or developing a personalised and differentiated multi-sensory experience from scratch. Please get in touch with us so that we can discuss the needs of your group – or individuals within your group – and how we can support you best.
You can request a showing with higher light levels and/or lower sound levels. We have 3 spaces where people in a wheelchair can view the show. We also offer a show designed to be accessible to people with all levels of sight - Audio Universe. Created by Newcastle University astronomers, this show turns the sights of space into sounds. It is free for blind and partially sighted visitors and their carers/support workers.
To help you to prepare your group for a visit, or for you to find out about the environments and interactive activities around the building, we provide:
- A visual story to help orientate yourself round the building before visiting.
- Our what's on page, outlining the temporary exhibitions on show, alongside more details about our permanent galleries. This includes Instagram guides for Ancient Egypt, Living Planet, Ancient Greeks and Hadrian's Wall galleries, plus a virtual tour for the Ice Age to Iron Age gallery.
You can also book any of our support materials to use during your visit:
- Sensory bags - a bookable resource including a fiddle toy, weighted blanket, textured cushion and ear defenders.
- Museum Adventurers kit - a bookable resource containing now/then timetables and a range of activities to support exploration in the museum.
- magnifier sheets (x3 magnification)
- wheelchair lap trays.
You can also choose any of our other bookable resources, including gallery explorer kits linked to a particular topic, or story bags.
Need more information?
We've provided some hints and tips below, including how to get in touch.