Royal Ontario Museum and MagnusCards Partner on App to Assist Museum Visitors with Autism

ROM takes the lead as first museum in the world to partner with the Magnusmode MagnusCards
ROM Card Decks launch Monday, May 30, 2016

TORONTO, June 3, 2016 /CNW/ - In celebration of National Access Awareness Week, Magnusmode, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Autism Ontario, and Easter Seals Canada are pleased to announce the launch of two new digital museum guides for visitors with autism, created on the Magnusmode MagnusCards platform.

Magnusmode produces apps to support those with cognitive special needs, including autism. The digital app MagnusCards is an innovative, free, web and mobile app that uses digital guides (called Card Decks) and game elements to help people access their communities with greater independence. Each Card Deck uses pictures and text to provide step-by-step instructions for various social interactions, situations, behaviors, and activities. Magnus, an interactive character who acts as the user's guide, provides reassurances and reinforces routine for users exploring new environments.

The ROM MagnusCards feature two decks: one which guides and prepares the visitor on what to expect when entering the ROM, and the other is an educational scavenger hunt through the ROM's James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs. The ROM is the first museum in the world to create MagnusCards that invite, engage, and support visitors with cognitive special needs.

"This program reinforces the ROM's commitment to exceeding visitor expectations and opening up new ways for people to experience all the Museum has to offer," said Josh Basseches, ROM Director. "Through extensive research, planning and collaboration with Magnusmode and Autism Ontario, the ROM has taken a leadership role in enhancing how museums welcome people of all abilities into their community."

"Museums have a key role to play in helping remove the isolation that can exist for many people with autism," says Nadia Hamilton, CEO and Founder of Magnusmode, and sibling of a young man with autism. "We chose to work with the ROM, a world renowned institution, as our founding museum partner. With this proven model we can now begin to collaborate with museums across Canada and around the world with tools that enable museums to educate, engage, and inspire all members of the community."

The ROM Card Decks are available for download in the MagnusCards app under the Arts and Culture category. The MagnusCards app is available on iTunes for iOS, Android, and web.

Social Media
Like: Magnusmode Facebook | ROM Facebook
Tweet: @Magnusmode | @ROMToronto
Instagram: magnusmode | romtoronto
Watch: Magnusmode YouTube | ROM YouTube
Blog: Magnusmode Blog | ROMblog

About Magnusmode
Magnusmode is the company behind MagnusCards and was founded by Nadia Hamilton, whose brother Troy has autism. When Troy graduated from high school, there were few opportunities for continued personal and social development. This inspired Nadia to start a company that leverages technology to empower and support people with cognitive special needs. |

About the ROM
Opened in 1914, the ROM is Canada's largest museum of natural history and world cultures and has six million objects in its collections and galleries showcasing art, world cultures and natural history. The ROM is the largest field research institution in the country, and a world leader in research areas from biodiversity, palaeontology, and earth sciences to archaeology, ethnology and visual culture - originating new information towards a global understanding of historical and modern change in culture and environment. For tickets, memberships and 24-hour information in English and French, visit or call 416.586.8000.   

The ROM's Accessibility Strategy
The ROM is committed to making the Museum accessible for all visitors and has created a comprehensive policy. To ensure that all visitors can experience its history and treasures, the ROM has developed audio and digital guides, tactile displays, and digital access to collections. The main entrance of the Museum is stair-free, while the main foyer has a two percent slope allowing visitors to enter the area smoothly from the street. All floors are accessible by elevator or platform lift and the Museum's wayfinding system includes Braille and tactile elements. The ROM offers visitors complimentary wheelchairs, large-format floor plans, captioning of the digital donor wall, sign language podcasts, descriptive audio guides, tactile elements in the galleries, and increased seating throughout the Museum. For specific questions or concerns, the ROM can be contacted at 416.586.8000 prior to visiting. For those visitors who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing, Bell Relay Service can be reached by dialing 711 or 1.800.855.0511.

SOURCE Magnusmode

Image with caption: "MagnusCards (CNW Group/Magnusmode)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Magnusmode (CNW Group/Magnusmode)". Image available at:

For further information: Contacts: Magnusmode, Chris Scharlach, Digital Marketing Manager, 519.573.2832,; ROM, Nicole Mclean, Communications Assistant, 416.586.5784,

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