Take a trip to Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, and you might stumble across this ‘flushbunkingly glorious’ museum with chocolate-scented doors and fun galleries for families.
It is, of course, The Roald Dahl Museum where the famous author once wrote, surrounded by the places that inspired many of the stories we know and love today.
Not only is the museum and story centre a fun-filled day out for kids and adults alike, it is also a place where accessibility and inclusion are considered throughout.
Disabled access review website Euan’s Guide asked how the Roald Dahl museum engages visitors through accessible storytelling and ‘gobblefunk’, the language of Roald Dahl! Euan’s Guide shared their interview with PosAbility’s Kids’ Corner…
How does the museum’s ‘Signly’ app add to the visitor experience?
‘Signly’ enables deaf visitors to access permanent exhibits and enables groups of sign language users and hearing people to experience the galleries together.
Why do props help to make a story better for children and how does the venue ensure activities are inclusive to all?
Craft sessions often feature an element of storytelling. This combination of activities helps engage younger children in the stories and characters. Workshop spaces are all fully accessible, and activities are flexible in terms of content and outcome.
How is the museum’s Story Ideas Book used by visiting children?
Every child receives a Story Ideas Book on arrival to write their ideas in as they explore the galleries. Roald Dahl always kept an Ideas Book in which he jotted down ideas for character names and stories.
What has been the most creative way you have made a gallery or exhibit more accessible or inclusive?
There are objects to handle, things to smell, music and sound, films and hands-on activities. Through a changing programme of activities and trails, the museum finds new ways to help visitors to explore Roald Dahl’s life and stories.
How are the storytelling sessions in Miss Honey’s Classroom made accessible and inclusive to an immersed audience?
Storytellers can adapt to any given audience and often use props and audience participation to get everyone involved. Short, funny poems from Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts make for entertaining and engaging sessions for all ages.
Last year, the museum organised a dyslexia-friendly storytelling session packed with sensory-based activities including visual character-making and physical scene-setting, and on another occasion, a BSL signed storytelling day. Look out for similar events coming up this year.
The museum uses lots of interactive exhibits and multi-sensory features to tell stories. Even the doors to the Boy Gallery smell like chocolate! How can multi-sensory storytelling add to a person’s experience?
Multi-sensory storytelling can provide different ways to experience a story other than straightforward reading. Visitors can also explore the Story Sacks that contain tactile story props, play at creating stop-frame animations, and dress up as their favourite characters.
What are the next steps for the museum in terms of disabled access?
Due to their popularity, the museum hopes to programme more BSL talks and storytelling later this year. Longer-term, it plans to upgrade its hearing loop facility and enhance provision for blind and partially sighted visitors.
For more information telephone 01494 892192 or visit www.roalddahl.com/museum
For your chance to win a family pass for two adults and three children, enter below by answer the following question correctly:
Closing date for entries is 31 May 2017
The doors of which section of the museum smell like chocolate:
A) Miss Honey’s Classroom
B) The Boy Gallery
C) The Writing Hut