The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), and Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille (PBALille) have each developed programs in recent years specifically for people with autism and other neurodiverse conditions. The three institutions, all of which are members of the FRAME (FRench American Museum Exchange) network, have combined their expertise to create a Guide for Welcoming Museum Visitors with Autism Spectrum Disorder, a free digital publication. 

As agents of change, inclusion and social cohesion, the museums in the FRAME network are deeply committed to providing equal access to their collections for all audiences through targeted programs for visitors with special needs. To close Autism Awareness Month (in April), FRAME, the DMA, MMFA and PBALille are releasing this guide to help museums around the world make the arts and the museum experience accessible to people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a group with few museum programs that are tailored to its needs. This online compendium is the first in a series of initiatives called “FRAMEworks.”

This publication provides keys to understanding and tools for designing mediation activities and spaces that account for the specific needs of visitors with ASD. The recommendations and practical advice in this guide are drawn from projects by the education departments of these three members of FRAME, a network that includes 32 museums in Canada, France and the United States. Carried out in collaboration with parents of neurodiverse children, community organizations, and educational and research communities, these activities confirm the important role that art museums play in social life.

FRAME provided the catalytic support that enabled the research and collaboration between the Dallas Museum of Art, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts that led to this ground-breaking publication. With this work, FRAME is launching a series of online guides called ‘FRAMEworks’ that will promote the innovative ways that transatlantic cultural dialogue and international collaborations can benefit museums of the 21st century and welcome underserved populations to art museums.

— Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA)

— Dallas Museum of Art (DMA)

— FRench American Museum Exchange (FRAME)

— AB

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