A nonprofit pediatric therapy center helped adapt 10 of the 18 Learning Zones at Knock Knock Children’s Museum in Baton Rouge to be accessible for children with diverse disabilities.
McMains Children’s Developmental Center, which serves children with disabilities in the Greater Baton Rouge Area, created Ability Bags and Kits that allow children with special needs to play alongside other children at the museum, according to the Center’s communications and marketing manager, Janel Page.
A parent of a child at McMains Children’s Developmental Center said any changes made to the museum that enhance experiences for all children is great, according to Page.
“We don’t want our kids to be excluded from the mainstream, we want them to be included,” parent Cherika Johnson said. “Inclusion is the best thing that I can think of for kids with special needs. Just because they have certain challenges, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be given the opportunity to try.”
The Learning Zones that were adapted include Story Tree, Go Go Garage, Pelican Pantry, I See Food Café, Art Garden, Knock Knock Maker Shop, By-You Building, Paws & Claws Clinic, Fish Tales, Craw Baby, Quiet Cabin, Bubble Playground, Geaux Figure Playroom, Ship Shape Health Challenge, All Hands on Deck and Storybook Climber.
“When McMains Children’s Developmental Center brought the idea of creating special tools to allow children with limited mobility or disabilities to have a real museum experience, we couldn’t wait to get to work,” Knock Knock Executive Director Peter Claffey said. “The Ability Bags and Ability Boxes that have been developed through this collaboration are truly groundbreaking in the museum world. Now, all children, regardless of their abilities, can fully experience everything Knock Knock has to offer, and they too can learn through play and expand their knowledge of the world around them.”