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Space for everyone

‘Nothing about us, without us.’

We are dedicated to becoming the most inclusive and caring museum we can be.

We’ve listened to advocates with lived experience and inclusive features can be found across the building.

 

View the museum map here

Inclusive features

Access in the museum

There is a ramped entrance from the pavement outside the museum to the front door. There are lifts to all floors and level access to all public spaces, including galleries, the shop, café, toilets and other facilities. You can find a map of the museum here.

We have wheelchairs and a walking frame with wheels, brakes and a seat available for visitors to use. Please speak to a member of our Visitor Team at the reception desk if you would like to use one during your visit.

If you require assistance getting to our entrance on Oxford Road from our accessible parking or nearest car park, please call us on 0161 275 2648. To help you plan your visit and understand how far it is between the car parks and the museum, we’ve created this video.

Places to sit 

We have plenty of places to sit and rest seating throughout the whole museum, including in the Main Hall next to the coffee bar. There is seating in most of the galleries.

Portable folding stools are available to use too – ask a member of our Visitor Team if you need one. 

Quiet room

The quiet room is on floor 1 next to the Egypt and Sudan gallery. It is a quieter space for anyone who needs time away from the galleries for rest, reflection or other reasons. It includes seating and mindful activities such as puzzles and books. Ear defenders are available in the room and at our reception desk.

Lockers and buggies 

Personal belongings can be left securely in lockers, which are next to the Main Hall, and there is space to leave your buggy.

D/deaf and hard of hearing 

British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation and captioning are offered where possible. We have a hearing loop fitted at our reception desk.

Blind and visual impairments 

Public interpretation, signage and digital content complies with RNIB standard. We have large print text available to collect at the reception desk for our galleries, please speak to a member of the Visitor Team on arrival for more information.

Guide and assistance animals – including assistance dogs in training – are welcome at the museum. We ask that they are identified by wearing a jacket, a harness, or a brightly coloured collar and lead during your visit. Water bowls for dogs are available in the café and bowls can be filled using the water fountain in the Welcome area – just ask and our Visitor Team will be happy to help.

Therapy dog

You might see our therapy dog, Murray, in the museum. Murray is trained to give emotional support to those who need it. We also have a therapy room on our Top Floor. To enquire about a visit from Murray, please contact Karen Brackenridge: karen.brackenridge@manchester.ac.uk

Getting here

There are six car parks on campus with a mixture of permit and public parking. Find the details here.

The nearest car park is UoM Car Park D, Booth Street West (access via Higher Cambridge Street).  This is available for the public as well as staff and students. Postcode: M15 6AR

The Aquatics Centre car park is also close to the museum.

To help you plan your visit and understand how far it is between the car parks and the museum, we’ve created this video.

Neurodiversity

We are working on a visual story to help plan your visit to the museum.

Sensory

When you get here, ear defenders and sensory bags can be borrowed from the reception desk. These bags are filled with items that can help lessen sensory overload and support visitors including:

  • Child-size ear defenders
  • Child-size light reduction glasses
  • Magnifying glass
  • Motions clock
  • Marble fidget
  • The Slice – A weighted textured object created by Sarah Marsh

Quiet times

A quiet room is available on floor 1 next to the Egypt and Sudan gallery. Ask a member of the Visitor Team for more information.

8am – 10am on Saturday mornings is a quieter time to visit the museum. Entry is free but please call 0161 275 2648 to arrange your visit. We are monitoring visitor flow and will promote the quietest hours on our website and social media once we have a better understanding of the busiest and quieter times. 

Communication Cards

Non-verbal communication cards can help you to ask for assistance if you need it. Please download our communications cards. Please show these to any staff member and they will help you find what you’re looking for.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

We have developed all our programmes and resources with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in mind.

School resources are developed with SEND in mind

Digital Touch Replicas

Digital Touch Replicas (DTRs) are physical objects that can be explored by touch. Feeling different areas of the surface triggers hidden electronics, which in turn plays information relating to the area on a screen. Our goal is to create a ground-breaking user experience that enables users to touch and interact with digitally scanned museum artefacts. We have worked with a range of enthusiastic museum colleagues, students and specialists in digital and 3D technology.

Physical interaction with objects is particularly important for some visitors with sensory impairments and for those who need to make physical connections with objects to make sense of them These replicas are high quality replicas of objects that are physically inaccessible because they are either too fragile to be handled or are displayed within exhibition cases.

We have worked collaboratively with students and teachers from Grange School, a local school for autism, to create co-curate content for the DTRs for the museum’s Golden Mummies of Egypt exhibition and the wider Egyptian collection. This has formed part of the Touching Perspectives project which has been awarded funding from the Digital innovation and Engagement fund supported by the Museums Association, UKRI and AHRC.

The hope is that this second level of content, combined with being able to haptically explore the replica objects will create a way for neurodivergent children and adults to connect with these objects. This DTR technology, which aims to make museum collections more accessible, is based on research by Sam Beath, Senior Conservator at Manchester Museum, as part of her PhD at Loughborough University. If you wish to know more about this project, please contact Sam via email: sam.beath@manchester.ac.uk

Book tickets to Golden Mummies

Toilets

Whoever you are, you will find a toilet for you in the museum

  • A Changing Places toilet is on the ground floor next to the Main Hall. This is a fully accessible toilet that provides space and equipment for people who are not able to use the toilet independently. 
  • All-gender toilets are on the ground floor next to the Main Hall and on floor 1 next to the prayer room.
  • Women’s and men’s toilets are available in the basement floors accessed from the Main Hall and the Fossils and Dinosaurs gallery.  
  • Free period products are available in every toilet.
  • You can ask for a family pack at the welcome desk, which include nappies, baby wipes, and bags.

Download the toilets map

In our Changing Places toilet, the hoist serves the sink and toilet. Unfortunately, it does not currently extend to the bed. We are working to get this fixed as soon as possible.

The nearest Changing Places Toilet with these facilities is located at Manchester Aquatics Centre, 2 Booth Street East, M13 9SS.

Feedback

We embrace the social model of disability and hope to build on this model in all our work. We have worked to remove potential barriers for people engaging with our building and collections in response to the diverse needs of our visitors. We have drawn on the skills and passion of our staff with support and guidance from partner organisations and volunteers.

We are proud of the work we have done so far based on consultations with partners on accessing the museum. We are also aware of how much there is to do and that welcoming visitors back to the museum might help us to identify new needs. We understand there are people who may feel excluded from the museum for different reasons.

We want to know how we can most efficiently and effectively direct our time and resources to have the greatest impact in making all people feel welcome and able to enjoy an equitable experience.

If you have feedback for us, can’t find what you’re looking for or you require additional assistance during your visit, we will do our best to support you:

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