Information for Autistic and Neurodiverse People

The Postal Museum is working with Ambitious about Autism and a group of their Youth Patrons to develop resources and events that aim to support and welcome autistic and neurodiverse visitors to the museum.

Preparing for your visit

To protect the safety of staff and visitors we have made some changes to the museum. If you have visited before it will look a little different, though we have done our best to keep the museum a fun, but safe, place to visit.

We have created a new visual story with Ambitious about Autism that will help you plan your visit and understand the safety changes we have made. You can download this resource below as a whole document or you can choose the chapters of most interest to you.

(PDF opens in a new tab):

There is lots of useful information to help you plan your visit on our website. You can also still access the pre-visit films we made before the pandemic though remember some parts of the experience have changed a little. To watch the films with subtitles, click on the small CC box in the bottom right corner of the film.


Visual stories

As well as the new visual story describing the safety changes you can still access the old visual stories. You might find some additional information that will help you to plan your trip, find your way around the museum and what activities and facilities are available but please refer to the new resource so you are aware of what has changed.

(PDF opens in a new tab):


Resources and events

We have a range of resources available to borrow that might support you on your visit. We are following Government guidelines to ensure they are used by visitors and staff in a safe way.

Communication cards

Communication cards can be borrowed from the ticket desks or downloaded in advance here. These visual cards show the highlight objects and where to find them and key questions or requirements you might have during your visit.

Sensory bags

Sensory bags can be borrowed from the ticket desks. They contain resources and items that might support you on your visit to the museum. Please ask a member of staff if you would like to see the bag, find out more or borrow one.

Lanyards

You can borrow a teal lanyard from the ticket desks. This will enable staff to recognise that you may have a hidden disability and might need some additional support during your visit. A selection of the communication cards are attached to the end of the lanyard, you might find them helpful.

Ear defenders

Ear defenders are available to borrow from the ticket desks, please just ask a member of staff if you would like to access a set.

Events

Post Early: Relaxed Mornings at The Postal Museum is an event designed for autistic and neurodiverse people, including families and adults, who would like to visit the museum when it is less crowded and noisy.

The museum opens exclusively before public opening hours, from 08:00 until 10:30. Attendees can ride Mail Rail and explore the exhibitions with some fun resources to support your visit.

Places are limited and must be pre-booked. Tickets for a timed slot are £1 per person, siblings and guests are welcome to attend and there is no age limit to attending.

Book now for the next Post Early event on 3 June 2021.

Sensory audio story

The Post Office first gave jobs to cats over 150 years ago! Their job was to chase away mice in post offices. The most famous of them all was Tibs the Great. Join storyteller Olivia Armstrong for a sensory audio story and discover the true story of Tibs.

You can enjoy the story by quietly listening or you can join in. If you would like to join in there are some ordinary things around the house that you can collect to help you tell the story. Olivia will tell you the items, or if you would like to prepare in advance here is the list. Don’t worry if you can’t find all of them, you can still join in.

1. Your favourite cuddly toy or something soft to touch
2. A torn up or shredded piece of paper in a plastic bag
3. Your favourite small snack
4. A few drops of vinegar and a separate spoon of bicarbonate of soda
5. A handful of uncooked rice in a plastic bottle or container
6. A pair of rubber gloves with paper clips attached to the ends of the fingers
7. Fizzy water and a cup or glass
8. A tiny piece of sandpaper

The story takes 18 minutes to listen to in full.

FAQs

To protect the safety of staff and visitors we have introduced some measures that will make the museum less noisy and busy. For example, we have reduced the amount of people who can visit in one day, less people can ride Mail Rail at one time and people book timed slots to visit.

We have ear defenders available to borrow, you can collect them from the ticket desks.

If you need some help during your visit or you would like to ask a question, just speak to our friendly team wearing purple t-shirts. You can write a message and show them if you prefer.

You can collect a teal lanyard from the ticket desks, this will enable staff to recognise that you may have a hidden disability and might need some additional support during your visit.

If at any point the visit gets overwhelming, please let a member of staff know and we can direct you to somewhere quiet.

Mail Rail was originally made to carry mail not people. This means there are some safety restrictions and conditions that might mean you cannot ride the train. You can find out more about the Mail Rail ride restrictions here and in the visual story resources.

You can find further FAQs on the Visit us page.

Supported by the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, and Art Fund.