16 March 2017 – Waikato Museum is offering people with autism the chance to enjoy their next exhibition in a comfortable and accepting environment. In March 2016, Daniel Smith, member of our Consumer Reference Group, met with Public Programmes co-ordinator Kirsten Peterson, to develop Da Vinci Mechanics, the museum’s first autism-friendly exhibition. One of the changes the museum made on Daniel’s advice was to label each exhibit with green or red, making the interactive exhibits clear. Find out about the modifications the museum will make to the environment for their Life Before the Dinosaurs exhibition.
Waikato Museum’s upcoming exhibition transports you back in time 290 million years when bizarre-looking animals dominated life on land and sea.
Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs brings the past back to life with fossilised skeletons and full-size life models of the animals that ruled the world millions of years before the age of dinosaurs, in a time known as the Permian.
The Permian period ended with the largest extinction Earth ever experienced, which wiped out 90 per cent of all species on the planet. The cause of the end-Permian extinction had baffled scientists for the past 20 years but a recent discovery shed new light on the cause of this catastrophe: global warming. Find out how this familiar phenomenon, started by a huge volcanic eruption, set off a chain of events that led to the greatest extinction on Earth.
The exhibition blends art and science with a collection of new artwork, which offers a glimpse back in time through the eyes of award winning paleo-artist Julius Csotonyi. View fossilised skeletons and reconstructed models of these amazing but bizarre creatures that dominated land and sea; and dig and identify fossils in the interactive dig pits throughout the exhibition. Meet giant insects, strange reptiles with mammal-like characteristics and the top predator of the time, the giant sabertoothed gorgonopsid Inostrancevia.
The exhibition runs from 13 May – 13 August 2017. Waikato Museum is offering people on the spectrum the chance to enjoy Permian Monsters in a comfortable and accepting environment on Saturday 3 June from 6pm to 8pm.
Modifications to the exhibition will include a less crowded environment, light and sound reduction and extra visual signage.
Adult – $12
Child (4 to 14 years) – $8
Child 0-3 years – Free
Concession* – $10
Small Family (one adult and two children) – $20
Large Family (two adults and up to four children) – $40
*Concession applies to students, Friends of Waikato Museum, senior citizens and Community Services Card holders. ID required.
This article was first published in Altogether Autism Journal Issue 1, 2017 read the latest edition.