Sam Bowen Visits Unlimited Associate
I first contacted Visits Unlimited two years ago when I saw a post about their distributing Max Cards to families with disabled children. I spoke to Katie initially to apply for a card and ended up telling her about my former career in Museums.
From the moment I spoke to Katie and heard her passion for increasing access to Museums and heritage sites, I knew I wanted to be involved. I became an associate member of Visits Unlimited and helped out on a training session being held nearby.
Fast forward a year or so and I was back in contact with the Museum Development Service who I had worked with prior to having my daughter (who was born with special needs). We discussed the need to raise access awareness with museum staff and support them in becoming more welcoming to people with disabilities.
I put Katie in contact with Joanna Low, Museum Development Officer, and we together developed a training day. The day came and I wasn’t nervous, but excited that I was finally delivering training with Katie to a group of Museums I had worked with before on a subject that I am passionate about. The day was a huge success and I am now working with four of those museums to progress their accessibility plans.
I left the Museum world nearly 8 years ago with the sudden life changing moment of having a severely disabled child. I’m now returning to that field with a much better understanding of disability and a whole new perspective on life. It’s empowering and fulfilling to match my professional museum experience with that of being a special needs parent, it’s as if a jigsaw is now complete.
If you’d like more information on how to improve accessibility in your museum or visitor attraction, then please contact Katie Clarke for more information.