Many Mobile Planetaria say they are SEND friendly...but are they?
Their shows may be, BUT you have to get into the dome first!
If you look at the examples to the right, you can see that those with mobility issues, or those with a nervous disposition can struggle with some of the modern dome designs that employ an 'Inflatable Entrance' and the older tunnel design is still and issue for those on frames or with sticks.
So think carefully which dome company YOU choose if you have disabled staff or students.
Our Mobile Planetarium IS as SEND friendly as we can currently make it (but there is always room for improvement!)
The entrance is a FLAT-FLOOR, WALK-IN and Accessible to most ! (we know Dave our presenter was on sticks after a back injury in 2018). You can look straight it and see the intro film running so it is not 'dark and scary'.
We have worked with staff from the National School for the Deaf to create the first method of signing in total darkness employed in the UK (to our knowledge)!
We also have Subtitles for our more popular shows.
We have also given shows to hundreds of autistic children and other with profound needs without any major Issue, as Dave is VERY patient and understanding! Most of our shows are perfect for those with SEND students...IF in doubt , ASK!
We have separated this Statement into 2 sections, Mainstream Schools & SEND Schools
- We adhere to the Government's SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years (2014)
* We treat EACH audience member to our shows as a Unique and Valued person.
* We never discriminate on ANY grounds.
* We liaise with staff to check for any special requirements prior to our shows.
- We do everything we can to meet children and young people’s SEN.
- We try ensure that children with needs engage in planetarium activities alongside pupils who do not have SEN.
- However we do NOT believe that ANY child should be foreced into our dome against their wishes.
- We encourage staff to bring any autistic children to have alook at the planetarium, maybe have alook inside prior to their allotted show.
- We uderstand that Autistic children may appear ‘disruptive’ when in the dome, and we adjust our shows to ensure both their and their classmates needs are both met.
- We are always alert that and autistic audience member may suddenly desire to leave the dome, and we always facilitate this if needed.
- We do NOT treat autistic children differently when it comes to our show delivery or Q&A sessions in mainstream schools, other than in a tolerant and patient way!
- When we perform in SEND School, we liaise with staff from the point of booking.
- One the day we again discuss any potential problems and needs of the children that will be relevant to our shows.
- We try to ensure that each show is delivered at the appropriate level and pace as agreed.
We are ALWAYS learning! We listen closely to feedback during and after every show and adjust our shows and methods if appropriate and possible (we were asked to provide a light during the total dark section! This is NOT possible).