Chicago Children's Museum welcomes kids with disabilities

August 31, 2013 11:57:47 AM PDT
Chicago Children's Museum is one of the best places for families and young children with and without disabilities to play and learn together.

Located at Navy Pier, the museum has a wide range of interactive exhibits that are accessible for everyone regardless of their limitations and challenges.

"We really believe that all children need to play can benefit from playing and can really benefit from playing together. We know that families sometimes need different kinds of support. So, we have a couple of different ways we do that," said Jennifer Farrington, president and CEO of the museum.

"We have a wonderful program called 'Play For All.' It's the second Saturday of every month. Those mornings are special mornings for families to really be able to get a jump start and a preview of the museum without all of the hustle and bustle and busyness," said Farrington. "We have a special area. It is a little bit more soothing, little quiet, has some special resources."

"We have other things like sound-denoting headphones for children who may react to different levels of stimulation," Farrington said. "Our art studio has some wonderful adaptive and assistive devices available to make sure that every child can participate in all of the art activities."

Staff members have received training on disability etiquette from the Open Doors organization.

"They really have made such an effort and taken our training to heart in terms of making exhibits really accessible," said Riza Jazrifkind, the organization's program coordinator.

" Sometimes, before we open the exhibit, we 'll say you know we would like to have a couple families come in and tell us how is this going to work for your child, how is this going to work for you," Farrington said.

The Chicago Children's Museum opens at 10 a.m. daily. For more information, log on to www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org, and www.opendoorsnfp.org.


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