9/11 Memorial Launches Pilot Access Family Program

A boy and a girl look at a first responder patch held up by Megan Jones, the senior director of education programs at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Dozens of children’s drawings are on a wall behind the three of them.
Children visiting the museum look at a first responder patch with the Assistant Director of Education Programs. Photo by Jin Lee.

In recognition of National Autism Awareness Month, the 9/11 Memorial Museum recently hosted its first family access program.

Several families participated in a morning of discussion and art-based activities focused on first responders. Activities included making first responder badges and a touch table that allowed participants to try on firefighter equipment.

The program was designed to provide a space for families with children with autism to visit the museum for the first time and to begin a dialogue about 9/11. One parent said the program allowed her sons to have “the opportunity to visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum with people who understand the special needs of its participants.”

One mother, who participated in the program with her two children, explained that this was her first visit to the site since September 11, 2001. On that morning, she witnessed the attacks while in her office located on Wall Street, near the World Trade Center. The program provided an important experience for her in sharing it with her children.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum looks forward to continuing to work with a diverse range of audiences through future programs. 

By Shannon Elliot, Education Specialist 

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