Media Arts have joined forces with autism campaigner and blogger Kieran Rose, AKA The Autistic Advocate, to win a contract with Colchester & Ipswich Museums. The collaboration will see Neil and Kieran work together to identify possible trigger points for autistic visitors at two sites and produce a video walkthrough that will be available to watch prior to their visit to help them navigate the best route through the museums.
Neil and Kieran first met in January 2018 through a DBN sponsored mentoring programme. Since then Kieran has launched a Social Enterprise called Infinite Autism, which aims to support and empower both autistic people and parents of autistic children from an uniquely autistic-led perspective.
Neil said “Kieran not only blogs and campaigns for the rights of people diagnosed as autistic, but as someone who has an inside view of autism, his involvement in this project is invaluable.”
The two believe that this is the first time a project on this scale has embraced autistic visitors in a museum setting in an effort to improve their visitor experience. Kieran added “It’s really encouraging to see that Colchester & Ipswich Museums have taken this pro-active approach and genuinely want to learn what will help their autistic visitors to have the best experience possible during their visit.”
Media Arts have worked with museums and heritage sites extensively over the past decade but this is the first time Neil has worked with Colchester & Ipswich Museums. He says “Although Kieran and I have both lived in the northeast for many years we’re actually from similar parts of Essex originally. So to be producing something so worthwhile with a museum I used to visit as a child is an added bonus!”
Following completion of the project in early 2019 it’s hoped that this unique collaborative service between Neil and Kieran can be offered to other museums and heritage sites across the country.