Frost Science is proud to announce it has been recognized as an “Autism Friendly Partner” by the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) at the University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University. CARD’s Autism Friendly Designation program is aimed at acknowledging businesses and institutions that are creating welcoming places and spaces in the community for individuals on the autism spectrum, related disabilities, and their family members.
“We believe that science should be accessible for everyone. At Frost Science, we are dedicated to fostering a culture of inclusivity and accessibility. Our designation as an ‘Autism Friendly Partner’ by CARD reflects our unwavering commitment to providing an inviting space and a resource where all individuals, including those who are neurodivergent, and their families can wholeheartedly embrace the marvels of science,” said Dr. Doug Roberts, President & CEO of Frost Science.
“For 30 years, CARD has been South Florida’s first choice for autism support. We pride ourselves on our strategic collaborations that help to make community life more accessible and enjoyable for our families,” said Dr. Michael Alessandri, Executive Director for the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. ”Our Autism Friendly partnership with Frost Science represents a unique and natural extension of that work, and we hope this initiative is a symbol to other potential partners who strive to be truly and meaningfully inclusive.”
As part of this commitment, Frost Science has introduced new initiatives aimed at enhancing accessibility and inclusivity for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. Key highlights include:
- Just for Me – A monthly program dedicated to welcoming individuals and families with diverse sensory and accessibility needs to discover and explore everything Frost Science has to offer in a quiet, comfortable, and accepting environment. During Just for Me hours, guests can expect sound and lighting adjustments within exhibitions, and special tactile and interactive activations where they can engage with scientific concepts with support from museum educators.
- Just for Me Social Narrative + Accessibility Video – The museum worked with CARD to enhance its accessibility video which is available online for guests to view and a Just for Me Social Narrative book which is available onsite and online.
- Sensory Toolkit – Sensory toolkits equipped with noise-reducing headphones, a weighted blanket, sensory toys, and the Just for Me Social Narrative, are available for adults and children at the museum entrance.
- Professional Training – The museum team has received specialized training from CARD’s experts to better understand the unique needs of guests with autism and related disabilities. This training has equipped them with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide support and assistance effectively.
Frost Science has also debuted a new area within its meLab exhibition, “Library of Me,” in partnership with the Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS), also a recognized Autism Friendly Partner by UM-NSU CARD, that will provide a quieter experience in the museum with books and comfortable seating for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and related disabilities and their family members.
“We are excited to partner with Frost Science Museum and to see them designated by UM-NSU CARD as yet another organization committed to serving neurodiverse individuals,” said Ray Baker, Director of the Miami-Dade Public Library System. “We support and applaud their efforts to foster an environment where science education is accessible to everyone.”
Frost Science welcomes people of all ages to enjoy its Just for Me program and with support from the Albert and Jane Nahmad Foundation, it is offering a limited number of free museum admission to attend Just for Me event days. For more information about Just for Me and accessibility at Frost Science, please visit frostscience.org/accessibility.