We would like to actively encourage visitors with SEND to the Centre of the Cell. We want Centre of the Cell to be an accessible, diverse and enjoyable environment for all visitors, where everyone can learn and feel included in science, especially those who have not felt included before. We are working to increase our accessibility offer so that all visitors can engage with our content and sessions and walk away having a more positive attitude towards science.
Beginning December 2022, we will be running an SEND consultation to help us improve accessibility at Centre of the Cell. If you have any suggestions about how we could make Centre of the Cell more accessible to you and others, or if you would like to get involved with the consultation process, please get in contact with Jessica Moon (Learning Team Leader) on: email@example.com
We appreciate your support, so participation in the consultation process will result in the opportunity to take part in some discounted and free shows!
- We are now part of the Sunflower Lanyard scheme
- More in depth accessibility information is now available on our website (on this page in general)
- Show warnings and expectations are now available (below on this page)
We are currently working on developing:
- Sensory bags (for free hire)
- A Centre of the Cell visit video to see what your experience at Centre of the Cell will be like
- Options of either a reduced or increased sensory session
- A sensory map of the building
- Velcro timetables (for planning the visit and your time at Centre of the Cell)
If you would like to contribute your thoughts on the usefulness of these changes or give any other feedback on accessibility at Centre of the Cell we welcome it via this form. Many Thanks, from the Center of the Cell team.
Planning Your Visit
For specific information on how to get to us, please visit our Getting Here page.
Disabled parking is available in the Blizard Yard and must be booked in advance. If you require a disabled parking space or drop-off point, please contact us on 0207 882 2562, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are part of the Sunflower Lanyard scheme. Not all disabilities are visible, and our staff are trained to recognise the pins, badges, cards and lanyards of the scheme. This allows us to discreetly identify that somebody may require additional support.
Centre of the Cell does not have a lunch space or indoor area where visitors can eat. There is a separate café within the Blizard Institute to purchase food. No food or drink is allowed inside STEM Pod, but snacks and drinks are permitted in our waiting area and in the Neuron Pod.
If you would like to visit us in advance of your booking, please contact us by phone or email to arrange a ‘pre-visit’. On these pre-visits, we will be able to show you our spaces and resources and answer any questions face to face.
During Your Visit
We are located on the first floor of the Blizard Institute, with step-free access available throughout. There is a lift that connects our ground and first floors, and the accompanying staircase also has a handrail.
There is a disabled toilet on both the ground and first floors. The nearest Changing Places toilet is located at the Tower of London.
Our waiting area is seated. There is also seating in both our STEM Pod and Neuron Pod. These seats do not have armrests, and the seats in STEM Pod do not have backrests.
After Your Visit
Was there anything that we could have done to improve your visit? If so, please let us know at email@example.com.
Our STEM Pod is a very exciting experience, but it can sometimes be overwhelming, especially for those who are not sure what to expect. Please see below for a step-by-step rundown of what happens in a STEM Pod show. If you would like more detail about any section of the show, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- On entering the STEM Pod, there will be soft music playing and an orange-lighting in the room. Please see the image for to the right for the view from the doorway. You will be asked to take a seat on one of the chairs around the edge of the room.
- When the staff member present begins the show, they will speak on a microphone and then the lights will dim, the music will stop, and a video will play on the ceiling projectors.
- When the film finishes, the lights will come back up again, some of the lights will flash, and a warning siren and voice will announce that the Nucleus (the pod in the centre of the room) is about to open. The doors will open, and then the siren/voice will stop and the lights will stop flashing. The staff member will give a brief introduction over the microphone, and then you will be invited to play the games.
- The games themselves have their own sound effects/voice tracks that differ depending on the game. Lab Bench Chaos has a siren and flashing lights if the game is lost (by the cells in the game becoming contaminated). The games use touch foils to work, which involve touching the surface of the table in front of the game to give commands.
- After usually around 20 minutes, a voiceover will announce a countdown (usually five minutes or one minute remaining depending on what the staff member selects) and you will be asked to sit back down again. When everyone is ready, the staff member will begin the next section. The warnign siren and voiceover will announce that the doors of the Nucleus are closing while they close, the lights will dim again, and another video will play above you.
- Following this film, the same opening process will occur (flashing lights, warning voice, nucleus doors opening) and the staff member will give another brief introduction over the microphone. You will then be invited to play the games again.
- There will be another countdown after a further roughly 20 minutes, you will be asked to sit down again, and following the same process as before, the doors will close, the lights will dim, and a final film will play.
- After this film, the lights will come back up again and the soft music from the beginning will begin again. You will then be brought back out of the STEM Pod through the door that you entered through.
Shows and Workshops
General show guidance:
- Audience participation (demos, questions, shouting out) – this can be changed with pre-warning, so if you don’t want this, tell us and we will be happy to adapt this
- Neuron Pod is dark when lights are off during shows
- Neuron Pod lighting can be quite bright when all the lights are on during entrance and exit
- There is some coloured lighting
- Most shows contain music
- It can get loud in Neuron Pod when lots of people are talking at the same time
General workshop guidance:
- High audience participation (demos, questions, shouting out)
- Main lights stay on throughout the workshop so it may be too bright for some individuals (but the lighting can be changed on request)
- Some activities are tactile (touching and using objects)
- There may be moving around to get from table to table
- Most workshops have a buzzer to signify movement to the next table (this is not too loud)
- Most workshops contain reading comprehension activities
Mummy for Melissa:
- Use of strawberries, surgical spirit (smells and allergies)
- Brightly coloured puppets
- Bubble machine
Sick, Snot and Scabs:
- The (fake) sick can smell
- Texture of the snot may be a trigger for some kids (gloves are provided to the volunteer)
- Making (fake) poo
- Use of banana, bread, coffee, oats and coloured water (some smells but not strong unless you are the volunteer for this section)
- High volunteer numbers
In a Heartbeat:
- High audience participation numbers
- Costumes may be used for some demos (e.g. hats, aprons)
- Some realistic animations and images in the presentation used to depict anatomical features
- Taste test (PTC strips – bitter flavour if you have the PTC gene)
- Costumes may be used for some demos (e.g. lanyards, wigs)
Genes and Evolutions Show:
- Costumes may be used for some demos (e.g. headbands, backpacks, jackets, eye mask, cloak)
Invasion, Infection, and Immunity:
- Reading and comprehension tasks
- Buzzers (not overly loud)
- Can get loud in the room when all students are participating
- Blindfold used in one activity – texture (not compulsory)
- Putting hands in a box of small balls for one activity – this box does make noise when it is shaken
- Talking to scientist
Careers in Science and Health:
- Movement between tables
- Talking to scientist, medical or dental student
- Reading and comprehension tasks
If any of these warnings are of concern, or you want to find out more information about a specific show or workshop please get in contact by emailing email@example.com, we will be happy to help.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us:
0207 882 2562