MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Starting in May, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is launching a monthly “Sensory Friendly Sunday” (SFS) for those with sensory sensitivities and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

According to the Walker, the free program will be held on the first or second Sunday of the month from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. – before the art galleries open to the public.

“This program aims to improve the Walker’s capacity to meet the needs of children, teenagers, and adults with sensory sensitivities, and their families, through this monthly, free, educational program,” the Walker said in a statement. “Over the past few months, the Walker has been working with a range of community partners to provide the Twin Cities with the first art-focused, sensory friendly program in a museum.”

The Walker says the SFS is a drop-in program that features accomodations like quiet spaces, noise-canceling headphones and fidgets. Participants will also be provided with a Social Narrative that helps them prepare for their experience – as well as a Sensory Map that notes locations of extreme noises and lights.

The first event is May 6. Families are encouraged to register ahead of time, and online registration will be available a month before each event.

The program was developed in consultation with the Autism Society of America (AuSM) and the University of Minnesota’s Occupational Therapy Program.

For more information, you can visit the Walker’s website, email access@walkerart.org or call 612-375-7610.

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