Museum of Surrey, Surrey Fire Service announce sensory-friendly initiatives

Museum to hold sensory-friendly hours, firefighters to be equipped with sensory kits

The Museum of Surrey is becoming more accessible to local residents with the launch of a new sensory-friendly initiative, announced Tuesday (Aug. 13).

In partnership with the Canucks Autism Network (CAN), the museum will run sensory-friendly hours from 10 a.m. to noon on the first Sunday of each month, beginning in September.

The Sunday mornings will offer guests an opportunity to tour the museum with reduced lighting and sound. Guests can borrow complimentary noise-cancelling headphones — which are available from the front desk at any time, not just during the sensory-friendly hours — and can access the permanent, sensory-friendly space on the museum’s second floor.

“The City of Surrey is committed to providing accessible and inclusive programs and services for all members of our community,” said Coun. Allison Patton. “Today’s announcement ensures everyone can experience the magic of our museum.”

“We’re very dedicated to keep building these spaces,” said Patton.

Museum manager Lynn Saffery said he was thrilled to officially launch the sensory-friendly hours.

“The Museum of Surrey is your museum. It’s a people museum that is inclusive, accessible and cares deeply about the communities and connections within the City of Surrey,” he said.

“We tell the stories of Surrey, and that means that all people need to be represented, not just our visitors but within our programs, events, galleries and exhibits.”

A second city-wide initiative was also announced during the Tuesday morning event.

Ben Wilson, Prevention Captain with Surrey Fire Service, was on hand to talk about new training and resources that will be made available to Surrey first responders.

As a parent of a child with autism, the initiative is “near and dear” to Wilson’s heart, he said.

Through an ongoing partnership between CAN, the City of Surrey, Surrey Fire Service and the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society, firefighters will now receive autism awareness training, and sensory-friendly kits will be provided to all front-line rigs “to aid anyone with sensory processing needs during first responder or fire calls.”

Those kits will include noise-cancelling headphones, symbol cards and calming accessories to assist anyone who may become overwhelmed during an incident.

As CAN noted in a media release, individuals with autism are “seven times more likely to interact with first responders than other members of the public.”

“As first responders, communication and trust with our patients is key to keeping them safe,” said Wilson. “When an accident or fire occurs, it can be overwhelming for everyone involved, particularly for those with autism or sensory processing disorders. We are very proud to launch this innovative program, which will ensure better service to all members of our community.”

Additionally, a newly established Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society autism committee will work to promote educational training among first responders, as well as support fire service members whose families are living with autism.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CloverdaleMuseum of Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta companies asked to contribute through B.C.’s new COVID-19 supply hub

New online hub to co-ordinate, source, expedite supplies and equipment to support front-line workers

Two people fined for trying to re-sell N95 and surgical masks in Delta

Police confiscated over 5,000 masks and are working with Fraser Health to see them put to good use

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

APRIL 4: Two people in Delta fined for trying to re-sell N95 masks

Surrey veteran feels pinch from COVID-19 after cancelled surgery

Caught between two countries, and low income, soldier feels he’s been forgotten

Man injured in reported stabbing near Surrey SkyTrain station

Incident happened around 9 p.m. Friday night

‘I love you this much’: B.C. firefighters share drone video on two-metre physical distancing

The Chilliwack Firefighters Association has been doling out helpful, visual reminders about COVID-19

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Most Read