This is The Ark ‘s bright idea for Dublin.

The Ark will deliver relaxed, sensory-friendly arts experiences to children with special needs.


Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people and how the person makes sense of the world around them.

The Ark has been providing sensory-friendly activities since 2012 by adapting performances and workshops to serve the needs of children with autism and other sensory processing disorders.

We provide guidance and training for artists in how to adapt their practice to cater to children with special needs.

  • We are one of the only cultural centres in Ireland that offers this service on a semi-regular basis (funding dependent).
  • We are mindful of the key elements that affect children on the autism spectrum by creating a relaxed sensory environment.
  • We reduce the volume of music, increase the lighting, eliminate sudden sound effects and unnecessary noise, remove surprise elements, provide ample physical space and reduce the fear of large crowds by reducing our capacity from 120 to 80 for these performances.
  • We aim to increase our capacity for inclusive events by welcoming these audiences, one of the fastest growing and least served audience groups in Ireland and making them feel comfortable attending arts events.