NC Maritime Museum at Southport offers programs for visitors with sensory issues

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SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — People who experience sensory problems with things like loud noises or bright lights now have a way to fully enjoy the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport.  The museum is offering new initiatives to make all visitors as comfortable as possible.

One of those initiatives is the sensory backpack program.  A visitor can borrow a backpack filled with soft stuffed animals, sunglasses, noise cancelling headphones, magnifying sheets, and other items to make the visit more pleasant for someone whose senses can be over-stimulated. The packs are sanitized after each use.

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Another addition is the “Admiral’s Quarters” sensory calm-down room, scheduled to open July 1. The room will offer a quiet calm space to help visitors center themselves, and self-regulate their emotions.  Use of the room is free of charge and open to all visitors during operating hours.  Items inside the room will be cleaned between uses.

To make exhibits accessible to people in the deaf and blind communities, some displays include different color choices and newly-created tactile elements.

A temporary exhibit opens this month featuring local artists, both new and professional, from the LGBTQIA+ community. The museum says this exhibit marks the beginning of an effort to highlight historically underrepresented communities with a goal of maximum inclusion within all museum programs and displays.

NC Maritime Museum at Southport is located at 204 E. Moore St. in Southport.  There is no admission charge, but donations are accepted.  Operating hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The museum follows all state guidelines for health and safety during the pandemic.    For more information, contact the museum at (910)477-5150.