App makes it easier for kids with autism to enjoy Chicago's museums

Sunday, February 05, 2017 08:32AM
New technology is making some of Chicago's biggest attractions more accessible.


CHICAGO - New technology is making some of Chicago's biggest attractions more accessible.

A new app is now being offered for free at several museums and the Shedd Aquarium to help engage children with autism.

Enjoying the sights and sounds of sea life in a whole new way. A new app for children with autism is now making trips to the Shedd sensory friendly.

"We partnered Infiniteach to create a sensory friendly app for Shedd to allow lots of tips, tricks and more visit preparatory elements so families can really be prepared for the visit when they come and really know what's going to be going on," said Kris Nesbitt, senior director of exhibits and experience development at the Shedd.

The app allows you to preview exhibits, create a customized schedule and even play games. There are also features for low vision and hearing impaired users as well.

"So ability to have dynamic text sizes, you can go in the settings and make it bigger and it will reflect that on the app. Also for people who have difficulty with vision there is also the ability for text to speech so the app basically talks to you and reads off descriptions of the social guides," said Marty Trzpit, chief technology officer of Infiniteach.

The app isn't just for the Shedd Aquarium. It is also available for the The Field Museum and Chicago Children's Museum.

For people like Laurie Viets and her kids, this type of technology makes activities and outings a lot easier.

"We live in the city of Chicago with so many fantastic things and so many opportunities the more technology we have to help us get through the process to make it easier and more enjoyable, the easier it is for us to experience these things," Viets.

If you want more information on the app, visit infiniteach.com/apps.
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