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Natural sciences museum plans low-sensory events for Dinosaurs in Motion exhibit

Posted July 23, 2013

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences will turn up the lights and turn down the music and sound effects in its Dinosaurs in Motion exhibit during two low-sensory events.

The events offer visitors with sensory disorders a special opportunity to explore the exhibit, which features 14 life-sized dinosaur skeletons that visitors can move using lever-and-pulley systems or remote controls. The exhibit is dark and includes flashing lights, music and sound effects. (Go Ask Mom is a sponsor).

During the low-sensory days, scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon, July 30 and Aug. 27, the museum will turn on the house lights, turn down the music and sound effects and turn off any flashing lights within the exhibit.

The special hours are designed for kids and adults with sensory disorders, which are common for those on the autism spectrum but can affect others as well. In some cases, disabilities or conditions are "triggered or made worse by an overload of certain senses," according to the museum. For instance, flashing lights can trigger seizures, migraines and other conditions.

The low lights and noise also might make the exhibit more fun for the youngest kids out there. Because of the large dinosaur skeletons, low light and loud noises, the exhibit is recommended for kids ages 5 and up.

I'm told the museum tried a test run a few weeks ago and it was really well received.

The museum also offers other programs and accommodations for groups with special needs, including kids and adults receiving special education services, pediatric patients and their families and people with physical, mental, intellectual, behavioral or emotional disabilities.

The museum can offer groups guided tours, a touch kit, audio guides and other guidance during a visit. Groups need to make reservations at least six weeks in advance. The museum also has outreach programs.

For more information, check the museum's website or contact Liani Yirka at 919-707-9887 or liani.yirka@naturalsciences.org. 

Admission to the museum is free. Tickets for the Dinosaurs exhibit are $10 for adults; $6 for children (3-12); and $8 for students, seniors (65+) and military.

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