When you think about an inclusive community for children and families, what comes to mind? Well, lucky for you, there’s no right answer to that question because literally any place in the community can be ready to include anyone that walks through the door. When I started Precious Developments, Inc., I knew that I wanted to be able to provide information to anyone who needed it. Here’s a look at some of the agencies and projects I’ve gotten to support – don’t you want to be a part of this? Contact Me to find out more about these projects and how you can get started!
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte launched a project in 2016 to provide Sensory-Friendly Performances to help provide access to theatre for people who may need some flexibility and support to attend a show. They’ve dedicated one performance of each of their MainStage productions to be adjusted to be more sensory friendly, and Precious Developments, Inc. has been there to support their efforts to support families who visit them at ImaginOn! What does it mean to be sensory friendly? Well, the overall theme is in providing a welcoming and understanding space for families to come and enjoy a performance! Here are a few specifics….
- Lights in the theatre will stay low during the show, instead of turning all the way off.
- The sound levels will soften when needed.
- Children’s Theatre of Charlotte intentionally sells fewer tickets for the sensory-friendly performances so families have more room to move as needed.
- Audiences have access to fidgets, headphones and weighted toys to help children feel more organized and settled.
- Someone will be standing near the front of the stage with glow sticks to help give families a warning when sensory-rich moments are approaching. Raising one light means there’s a smaller sensory moment coming up (like a loud sound or a change in lighting).
- A quiet room is available if children need to leave the theatre to feel more settled or regroup during the show.
- Families also have access to Child and Parent guides, as well as a Visitor’s Guide, for each production to help them know what to expect during the performances and give them an opportunity to look for learning moments together.
This is an incredible project, and the folks involved at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte are amazing! I even got to do a training with their teaching artists to support their ongoing classes, and it’s been awesome to see how dedicated they are to creating the best experience possible for every family who walks through their doors!
I had the opportunity to meet with the staff at Discovery Place as part of their professional development day, and this is an awesome group of educators! We spent our time talking about how to best support the children, parents, and teachers that come into Discovery Place. They offer so many different options for their visitors to enjoy, and they worked together so well to be creative and support each other in their work. I got to meet educators from all of their facilities, so they all brought unique perspectives into the room. I enjoyed watching them connect to each other and share their own tricks of the trade!