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21 Feb 2020

Autism-friendly tours at the Battle of Bannockburn

Written by India Divers (Learning Officer at the Battle of Bannockburn)
A darkened room with large screens at each side and in the middle are heraldic flags and a display of ancient battle armour
The ‘Prepare for Battle’ area of the 3D Experience in the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre
We’re introducing autism-friendly tours for our 3D Experience at the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre for the first time on Monday 30 March to coincide with World Autism Awareness Week.

Over the last few years at the Battle of Bannockburn we’ve been working to become more accessible to visitors with a variety of additional support needs. During our Santa’s Grotto event at Christmas we introduced autism-friendly slots for meeting Santa, where we reduced the number of visitors allowed in during a half an hour time slot and turned off the music.

We’ve also introduced a range of resources to improve accessibility, such as ear defenders, communication cards, sensory backpacks and large print guides.

We’re now thrilled to introduce our first-ever autism-friendly tours for our 3D Experience. We know that the immersive nature and timed decision-making element of the 3D Experience is not suitable for everyone, so we’ll be adapting some elements. Reducing the capacity to 15 participants rather than 30 will ensure a more relaxed atmosphere and we’ll have a quiet space for anyone who wishes to leave the tour at any point. The ‘Prepare for Battle’ area usually has loud sound effects so we’ll turn off the sound to create a calmer ambience.

The Battle Game has been designed to be fast-paced and high pressure, with participants being given a time limit for making decisions, so we’re going to remove the timed element to allow players plenty of time to decide what they want their soldiers to do in the game. After the 3D Experience tour there will be an optional replica weapons and armour handling session.

Our autism friendly tours will take place on Monday 30 March, 3.15–5.15pm. Places must be booked in advance by emailing learningatbannockburn@nts.org.uk. Ticket prices will be the same as regular admission prices to the 3D Experience. (Adults £11.50, Children £8.50, Concession £8.50, Carer free).

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