Dr Pepper Museum to host event for sensory sensitivity

The Dr Pepper Museum will be hosting a sensory sensitivity event as a part of "First Friday." Photo courtesy of the Dr Pepper Museum.

By Sarah Pinkerton | Staff Writer

The Dr Pepper Museum will host a sensory sensitivity event for those with special needs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m today at the museum as a part of their monthly First Friday.

First Friday gives the local community free admission to the museum and aims to pair with a special event each month. March’s First Friday event centers around sensory sensitivity.

Everything in the museum will be open as it normally is, but the event will allow those with special needs to get hands-on with activities. Lighting will be modified and sounds will be minimized. Quiet areas and sensory sensitivity maps will also be provided, which highlight areas with louder noise and brighter lights.

Mary Beth Farrell, director of development and communications at the Dr Pepper Museum, said the museum has hosted these events in the past and is doing a lot to ensure that the museum is accessible for the evening.

“We’ve gotten a lot of really great feedback about it,” Farrell said. “Specifically, with the sensory sensitive population, it’s been overwhelmingly positive. People are very excited about these opportunities.”

Atlanta sophomore Lauren Gassel has a younger sister with special needs, and said she thinks it is vital that museums have days set aside for those with sensory sensitivity.

“A lot of special needs kids can’t be around the normal things that we can be,” Gassel said. “There can be a lot of triggers that wouldn’t affect us but would affect special needs kids, and it’s so awesome that society is becoming more aware of that.”

Farrell said the public programming staff has been passionate about hosting events like this and reaching out to these populations of people.

“It’s a great companion to our active school programs that we do, which are more structured,” Farrell said. “We want to have experiences for as many different types of people as possible.”

Both buildings at the Dr Pepper Museum are wheel-chair accessible and offer earbuds and sunglasses free of charge to the public for those with sensory sensitivity.