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Popular Hull attractions to increase accessibility with new quiet sessions

Quiet sessions are to be trialled at three popular visitor attractions in Hull.

All sounds will be turned off for an hour at the Streetlife Museum, Hull and East Riding Museum, and Ferens Art Gallery on three different days this month.

From 1000-1100 on those days, all sounds will be turned off to reduce sensory input.

Where possible, lower lighting will also be turned up.

The sessions are mainly for – but not limited to – children, young people and adults with autism; people with social, emotional, or mental health needs; adults living with dementia; and any other visitors with sensory needs or who may prefer a calmer experience.

Items from sensory boxes will be available to borrow from the welcome desk of each venue, free of charge.

The boxes include ear defenders, magnifying glasses, fidget toys, torches, weighted cushions, magnifiers, and coloured filters – and bags will be available to carry selections around the museum or gallery.

The buildings will still be open to the wider public during the trial sessions.

The sessions will take place on the following days:

Ferens Art Gallery – Friday 4 August – 10-11am

Hull and East Riding Museum – Wednesday 16 August – 10-11am

Streetlife Museum – Tuesday 29August – 10-11am

At 1100, sounds will be switched back on, but visitors are welcome to remain in the venues for as long as they like.

The sessions are on a drop-in basis, with no need to book ahead.

More sessions are planned for afternoons in the autumn, as staff at the venues examine what works best.

Access and inclusion manager, Esther Hallberg, said: “We’re excited to be able to offer these quiet hours, which we think will really benefit visitors who might find a visit overwhelming otherwise.

“It’s part of wider work we’re doing to make our venues more accessible, and we welcome feedback from visitors about how we can tweak and improve sessions and resources to make them even more accessible.”

Portfolio holder for culture and leisure, Councillor Rob Pritchard, said: “Everyone should have the chance to visit the marvellous museums and galleries we have in the city, and these quiet sessions can help those who might previously have been put off.”

For more information on Hull’s museums and galleries, visit Museums and galleries | Hull Culture and Leisure (hcandl.co.uk)

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