Sense works with the V&A to launch sensory backpack for children with sight impairments

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Sense, the national deafblind charity, have been working with the V&A to devise the ‘Curious Ceramics’ sensory backpack. Designed with multisensory artist Abigail Hirsch for children with visual impairments it is the museum’s first ever sensory backpack and will launch with a special event on 1 August, where families will be able to explore its contents together in the Ceramics galleries with V&A staff. Families will also be able to see a new pop-up performance from No Nonsense Theatre with British Sign Language interpretation.

The backpack is full of sensory activities that can be enjoyed by all families, including a musical rain stick, a magnetic drawing board and ceramic touch objects amongst others. Through multi-sensory objects, textures, sounds and smells, children will get to discover curious ceramic objects from China to the Netherlands, learn how they were made and how ideas and materials travelled the world to reach Europe. The pack will be available for free all year round to borrow from the museum’s learning centre.

Kara Jarrold, Head of Arts & Wellbeing at Sense, said:

“We are thrilled to be working with the V&A to develop accessible opportunities for children and families experiencing sensory impairments. Our aim is to support children at all stages of their involvement in the arts and cultural sector and to engage with the museum’s impressive collection.”

Lucy Wright, Assistant Programme Manager (Families) at V&A, said:

“We are very excited to be adding a sensory back-pack to our offer of existing resources for children to engage with our collection. Working with Sense has enabled us to develop a resource suitable for all families, but especially for children with sensory impairments.”

The ‘Curious Ceramics’ sensory backpack launches on Saturday 1 August 2015 from 10:30 – 14:30 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL. ‘ROAR!’ a sign language interpreted performance about a stone lion coming to life, developed especially for the V&A by No Nonsense Theatre will also take place on the day.

Those wishing to attend the launch and performance please contact Kara Jarrold at

Sense is a national charity that has supported and campaigned for children and adults who are deafblind for 60 years.  There are currently around 250,000 deafblind people in the UK. Sense provides specialist information, advice and services to all deafblind people, their families, carers and the professionals who work with them. Further information can be found on Sense’s website –

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