IMG_1712Discovery Center is committed to providing opportunities for all children to play, explore, and grow through interactions with exhibits and programs that are designed to be inclusive and accommodating.

In January 2015, Discovery Center formed the Special Needs Task Force. This group of volunteers is comprised of parents, professionals, and staff all committed to fostering an environment that allows for exploration without barriers. The task force is working to make visits to Discovery Center more enjoyable and comfortable in the following ways:

  • Assistive Technology Check Out Program
    • Noise-Reducing Headphones
    • Transition Timers
    • Weighted Vests
    • Easi-Grip Loop Scissors and Triangular Crayons
  • Inclusion and accessibility training for all staff
  • Sensory-focused additions to Discovery Center-designed exhibits
  • Development of a museum social story to help eliminate pre-visit concerns

Parking: On-site parking is available with several handicapped spaces available in the first row closest to our main entrance. Parking is free and on a first-come, first served basis.

Restrooms: Handicap-accessible restrooms are located both upstairs and downstairs. Changing facilities are also located on both levels and in the Tiny Town family restroom.

Service Animals: Service animals are welcomed at Discovery Center. If a service animal will be accompanying you during your visit, please let the Discovery Center staff know at the Front Desk.

Wheelchair Access: The Discovery Center, along with outdoor exhibits, is wheelchair accessible. The elevator serves both floors, and is always open to guests. Ramps are located at the main and patio entrances downstairs. The wetlands walking areas are also accessible by ramp.

Assistive Technology Check Out: Several types of assistive technologies are available for check out during your visit. There is no associated cost, but we do require a deposit of your driver’s license when checking items out. We have the following items available:

  • Noise-Reducing Headphones
  • Transition Timers
  • Weighted Vests
  • Easi-Grip Loop Scissors and Triangular Crayons

All check out items are properly sanitized after each use.

Programs: Each day you will be able to attend a variety of programs at Discovery Center.

  • Public Programs: Programs are held each afternoon, and several times daily during the summer. These are included with your admission and available to guests of all ages and ability levels. You can visit the Programs & Events page of our website for specific details regarding the weekly activities for each program, or you can contact Caitlyn Brown, Public Programs Coordinator, for more information. We invite all guests to participate in these programs and are happy to make accommodations when possible.
  • Sibshops Logo Red and BlackSibshops are a celebration of the many lifelong contributions made by brothers and sisters of people with special health and developmental needs.Click here for more information, including complete schedule»
  • All Access Nights are times when the Discovery Center is open for special needs families only. You’ll be able to explore our exhibits and meet other families. More info»
  • SPARK!: SPARK! is our S.T.E.A.M. Play Achieves Real Knowledge program for children ages 1-6 and their caregivers. Join Ms. Katie in thematic, hands-on, brain based activities to promote investigative learning through the development of skills. For more information, please visit our SPARK!

Field Studies: Field studies are our guided programs for school groups. We cover a variety of topics through hands-on exploration all year long. Please let us know in advance if you have children with any special needs so we can make any necessary modifications to our topics and schedules for the day. For information regarding field studies or to discuss options for accommodations, please contact our Assistant Director of Education, Katie Woodward.

To view the Discovery Center’s Social Story, please click here.