New LICM4All App Helps Families Enjoy The Long Island Children's Museum Even More
The Long Island Children's Museum gets it: under the best circumstances, it takes planning to pull off a great outing with kids; if your child has special needs, even more so. That's why we think their new smartphone app isn't just smart, it's brilliant.
Designed specifically to support children with neurodiversities and physical challenges, the free LICM4all app aims to take the guesswork out of planning a visit to the museum. Before the trip, families can download the app from either the App Store or Google Play and create a totally customized schedule based on their interests, as well as their needs. Short videos offer a sneak peek into current exhibitions, while also showing kids what to expect — like that they may get a little messy at the Bubbles exhibit, or that they might have to wait their turn at the TotSpot. Meanwhile, the color-coded, sensory-friendly museum map identifies galleries that are quieter or louder, and a list of tips provides parents with helpful details on accessible parking, restrooms, service animals, and more.
At the museum, the app continues to serve as a really handy resource for any family looking for some added support. Kids can have fun checking exhibits and activities off the schedule one by one — like the Community Gallery and the cafeteria — and there's even a museum-based memory game for anyone who may need to take a break from all of the action. For visitors who are non-verbal or who may need a little assistance expressing themselves, tap-to-talk communication cards are available on the app too. By simply tapping the icons, children can let someone know that they're hungry, it's too loud, or that they're having a great time, of course!
This inclusive app is actually just one of the many resources LICM provides to make sure that everyone is able to fully experience the museum. Every other month, special needs families are welcome to attend free "Friendly Hours," when sound and lighting levels are reduced to create an environment that's supportive of all guests. Special programming is scheduled regularly, including sensory-friendly theater, relaxed performances, and ASL interpreted performances. A newly-constructed, dedicated Sensory Room was just opened, complete with visual, auditory and tactile resources, to provide a respite for children who are feeling anxious or overwhelmed during their visit. And a wide assortment of assistive devices are also available to visitors, including sensory backpacks, noise reducing headphones, weighted lap-pads, fidget items, PCS cards, and wheelchairs.
For a complete list of the special resources you'll find at the Long Island Children's Museum, you can read up on the LICM4all program. And if you're planning a visit, make sure to download the app for your iPhone or Android phone ASAP!
Photos courtesy of the Long Island Children's Museum