Museum of Work & Culture Announces Autism Awareness Month Program

Free Admission and Therapist-Led Activities Highlight Expanded Series

What: All-Ability Program to Launch at Museum of Work & Culture for Autism Awareness Month

When: Saturdays, April 14 and 28, at 10am and 11am

Where: The Museum of Work & Culture (42 S. Main St., Woonsocket)

Admission: FREE

In honor of April’s Autism Awareness Month, the Museum of Work & Culture has announced a special expansion of its SensAbilities series for individuals on the autism spectrum and others facing sensory challenges.

Each Saturday in April the Museum will provide free admission for families who wish to experience the MoWC in a low sensory, less crowded environment. Sensory elements such as lighting and sound are adjusted, and trained staff and volunteers will be on hand to provide supplementary tools to visitors who have children with special needs.

In addition, on alternating weeks, the program will provide families free access to therapist-led art and music activities designed to help children and teens with sensory sensitivities engage creatively with the Museum’s themes.

The first program will be offered on Saturday, April 14, at 10am and 11am. Melissa J. Weaver, LMHC, ATR-BC, and art therapist from Bradley Hospital, will lead a “Graffiti in Watercolor” activity aimed at helping participants learn more about Rhode Island’s history while exercising spatial awareness and mastery of a technique.

The second program will be offered on Saturday, April 28, at 10 and 11am. Rachel Panitch and Michelle Kaminsky will lead “Marimiba Magic,” a specially designed musical program for children to interact with wood and metal xylophones of all sizes. Panitch will also bring her fiddle along to add another layer to the music being played by the participants. The gentle, yet rich sounds of these instruments remind one of wind chimes. People usually find these instruments soothing, but may be loud for someone with sound sensitivity.

Classes are 45 minutes and offer a flexible and welcoming atmosphere. Each session is open to up to 10 participants. Families can register by calling 401-769-9675 or emailing

Visitors may also wish to take advantage of the tools the Museum offers to help parents and caretakers prepare for their visit. A social story has been created as a step-by-step illustrated guide to help those on the autism spectrum navigate exhibits. Additionally, the Museum provides checklists and “first-then” boards to better control time and sequence. These materials are available at the Museum and on the Rhode Island Historical Society’s website.

These events are free and made possible with the generous support of CVS Health Charity Classic.

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