In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, the Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum will host Sensory Friendly Days, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, from Monday, April 18 through Friday, April 22.
The Heinz History Center can sometimes be loud, bright, and busy. With this in mind, we are pleased to offer Sensory Friendly Days to make “the Smithsonian’s home in Pittsburgh” a more comfortable environment for kids and adults with a variety of sensory differences.
The History Center is committed to providing an inclusive environment for all visitors. In partnership with Autism Connections of Pennsylvania, the History Center has identified and implemented modifications to support a more sensory-friendly experience, including but not limited to: mitigation of sudden and/or loud sounds and motions, designated break and rest spaces, gender-neutral family restrooms, and increased directional signage throughout the museum.
In addition, on Monday, April 18, Wednesday, April 20, and Thursday, April 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., we will offer sensory-friendly story time with a tactile book in the 3rd Floor Multipurpose Room.
Please see the accessibility information below to help plan your visit.
Thanks to support from DICK’s Sporting Goods, the History Center will offer free admission from April 18-22 for all individuals with sensory processing differences, plus one caregiver per individual.
The Senator John Heinz History Center is committed to providing exhibits, programs, and public spaces that are inclusive and accessible for all visitors.
Parking & Drop-Offs
- Accessible parking is available in the surrounding parking lots and curbside.
- A drop-off zone will be available at the bus pull-off located on Smallman Street in front of the yellow goal post.
- An adapted map of the History Center will be available at the admissions desk that will note the location of exhibitions, restrooms, and break and rest spaces. Additional signage will be added throughout the museum for easy wayfinding.
Restrooms, Rest, & Break Spaces
- Accessible restrooms are located on floors 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6.
- Restrooms on floors 1, 3, and 5 will temporarily serve as Gender-Neutral Restrooms (Please note: This does not apply to the restrooms on the second and sixth floors.)
- Visitors are welcome to nurse anywhere they feel comfortable. A private nursing room is located on the sixth floor.
- Rest and break spaces will be made available and marked throughout the museum.
- Please note, our Kidsburgh exhibit will be temporarily closed during Sensory Friendly Days.
Additional Support Services & Visitor Information
- The History Center galleries are wheelchair accessible.
- Please bring any equipment you need, including but not limited to wheelchairs, noise-cancelling headphones, etc. The History Center has a limited number of wheelchairs available for use on a first-come, first-served basis.
- COVID-19 Safety: Policies and procedures are in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors and staff. Please visit our Health & Safety: Response to COVID-19 page for more information before you arrive.
Special thanks to Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust for their ongoing support of accessibility programming at the History Center.
Sensory Friendly Days are presented by:
Special thanks to our community partner: