Diversity, Accessibility, Equity, and Inclusion

We pride ourselves on being a facility that is open and welcoming to all. We encourage people of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, abilities, and other identity groups to visit with us as they are able.

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Some of our staff and volunteers on a trip to Richmond in Fall 2018.

We regret that due to the physical nature of our facility, we cannot accommodate wheelchairs or strollers. The museum is a two-story Victorian town home with many staircases. There is a small winding staircase at the entrance of the facility, as well as two levels of winding stairs inside the home. One of our goals for 2020 is to create a virtual tour for those guests that cannot physically access us. We will let you know as soon as that is available.

Part of this initiative means we celebrate the histories of all types of people as they are related to the late 19th and early 20th centuries and our mission to educate the public. This means we will offer programming that reflects the breadth of the human experience. We appreciate your empathy, understanding, and support as we work towards becoming a truly inclusive facility.

One of the groups we hope to accommodate are those with autism, ADHD, and others who consider themselves neurodiverse. To this end, we want you to know that our staff and volunteers are trained to understand how to interact with neurodiverse guests and will make accommodations as needed. We have a fidget basket upon entry, scavenger hunts sheets, and can provide a quiet place when needed. You can ask for a shorter tour as needed if attention span is also an issue.

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Our Director has a son with autism and spent time researching how museums can be more inclusive to those on the spectrum for a Virginia Association of Museums Fellowship in 2018. Here she is presenting at the VAM 2019 Conference in Lynchburg, VA.

Additionally, we recognize there are many types of learners and want to ensure all people are able to enjoy their experience with us. For this reason, we have implemented ‘touch baskets’ in each room on the tour for our guests to interact with and physically handle.

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Part of the contents of one of our touch baskets.

We are delighted you are considering visiting with us. Please give us a call or send us an email if you have specific questions about how to plan your visit for someone with additional needs.

For more information on how museums around the country- big and small- are becoming inclusive, please visit:

https://www.aam-us.org/programs/diversity-equity-accessibility-and-inclusion/