Science Oxford: Breaking barriers with digital engagement

A screengrab of the Science Oxford online resources portal. A green banner with three selection boxes.
Science Oxford online resources portal

To have true engagement and impact in what we do at Science Oxford, it is crucial to make sure we provide activities and events that can be accessed by everyone. We hope that by making science and STEM accessible for all, we can encourage a curiosity, interest and/or pursuit in science by everyone.

For Project Inspire, we consulted and worked with two local support groups for visually impaired families (Berkshire Visions and Oxfordshire Association for the Blind), and one organisation who provides activities and support for families who experience autism (Autism Family Support for Oxfordshire). In collaboration with these groups we produced digital exhibit guides, virtual tours, audio and QR-code trails, and braille signage.

We secured funding from the Project Inspire grant (£15k total, for partner relationship building, activities, consulting and co-development of activities) Also internally funded in-kind by staff time (this is also an on-going cost as we wish to continue the work we have started with this project).

Staff time was a big barrier for this project. It was difficult getting the staff and time to produce materials, from both our team and by external partners (many staff were on furlough throughout the last year). As a result many of the resources and changes that we wish to implement have not yet been rolled out.

Was it worth it? Yes, and we hope to welcome back the families and staff who gave us their ideas and support in making these new resources and changes, through further events and activities together.

Going forward, our EDI Working Group will continue to meet and try to understand our current practices and where we could grow/improve as a whole organisation. We want to improve our accessible changing and facilities even more, create more digital resources, challenges and/or guides for both indoors and outdoors at our Centre. We want to host accessible visiting days for local groups with additional or more diverse needs.

To view the resources click here: Project Inspire: Science Oxford