Here is just one reason to attend the 2018 Targeting Autism Forum, May 17-18th, Springfield, IL

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susan senator

Susan Senator is an author, blogger, journalist, and educator living in Brookline MA with her husband Ned Batchelder.  She has three sons, the oldest of whom is 28 with autism.  Ms. Senator is the author of Making Peace With Autism as well as The Autism Mom’s Survival Guide and now, Autism Adulthood:  Insights and Creative Strategies for a Fulfilling Life.  A journalist since 1997, she has published pieces on disability, parenting, and living happily, for the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, Family Fun, and Education Week.  Senator has appeared as a guest on the Today Show, MSNBC, ABC News, PBS, NPR and CNN.  Her writings on Special Olympics took her to the White House in 2006, to a state dinner for Eunice Kennedy Shriver.  Ms. Senator’s blog, publications and events can be found here.

Ms. Senator will be speaking on the topic:

Journey into Autism Adulthood: Creative Insights and Strategies for a Fulfilling Life. 

Registration for the 2018 Targeting Autism Forum is open now!  Seating is limited, so register early.  To register, simply email Suzanne Schriar   The subject line should read Registration for the forum.   Please include your name, job title, name of your library or other professional affiliation and a brief statement about your interest in the topic of autism and libraries.

The Forum will be held at the Illinois State Library.  Travel to and from Springfield, IL, will be at your own expense.  There is no registration fee.  Lodging for May 16-17 and meals (breakfast and lunch)  for both days are included. 

Continue to check the blog for additional information about the 2018 Targeting Autism Forum.



Targeting Project ENABLE: creating better, more inclusive libraries through online training

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Syracuse University’s Project ENABLE, a disabilities training initiative for librarians that began in 2010, received multiple IMLS grants to deliver in-depth training to librarians on ways to provide effective library and information programs and services to students with disabilities.  This valuable initiative evolved from a series of face-to-face in-depth workshops to eventually add a freely accessible online training website to meet the growing need of libraries to become community anchors for their patrons with disabilities. The need to provide online, self-paced, multimedia and interactive training that simulated much of the in-person workshop content and activities grew as Project ENABLE’s popularity increased.

In 2016, Project ENABLE began a partnership with the Illinois State Library and Dominican University to add a cluster of supplemental autism training modules as a key component of the Targeting Autism training.  Stayed tuned for more information and the release of the autism modules.

In the meantime, check out the Project ENABLE website to access the full range of disabilities training and resources provided.  Also, check out the December post on the Project Enable Blog to learn the story behind the Targeting Autism initiative.

Save the Date for the 2018 Targeting Autism Forum

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save the date

The 2018 Targeting Autism Forum will be held on Thursday, May 17-Friday, May 18, 2018, at the Illinois State Library, 300 South 2nd Street, Springfield, IL.

Details are forthcoming. Stay tuned!

Autism Basics Webinar – Now Archived

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Targeting Autism’s webinar, “Autism Basics: A Webinar for Librarians and Literacy Providers,” has been archived and is available on the Illinois State Library website.  Click here and find the Training Webinars heading.

Would you consider participating in a new initiative that connects libraries and populations with hidden disabilities?

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The Targeting Autism grant project is seeking librarians and disabilities stakeholders who would be interested in participating in a future Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant proposing to develop libraries as community anchors in serving individuals and families with hidden disabilities.  The project plan will be to organize multi-stakeholder teams from across the nation to receive training in a variety of formats beginning with one intensive three day in-person workshop.  Follow-up consultations with a disabilities trainer would be provided via phone, Skype and in-person, when possible. Additional components include a template of online training tools developed as part of Syracuse University’s Project ENABLE and monthly online seminars. Ongoing opportunities to engage with one another and share best practices will be provided via an online discussion platform.  The overall purpose of this project is to teach cultural competencies in working with disabled members of the population by developing a training model which can be distributed and adopted nationwide.

If you are either employed within the library  profession, a disabilities services provider or self-advocate who would be interested in participating in this future initiative, please send an email to Suzanne Schriar, indicating your interest.  Include a brief statement about why you think this training initiative is important.

Finally, this is NOT a commitment to participate. At this time, we are only trying to assess interest in this iniative.

Thank you!

Sign Up for Autism Basics Webinar

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Please reserve 10:30-11:30AM on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, for an informational webinar about serving individuals on the autism spectrum. This session will cover topics including what is autism, why it is important for librarians and literacy providers to know about autism and how to create an inclusive learning environment. An opportunity for questions will be provided at the end of the session.

To attend, simply send an email that contains the message: “Sign me up for the webinar” to Suzanne Schriar by Friday, September 22rd. 

The online webinar will be delivered using Adobe Connect Pro. To join the meeting, go to about 10 minutes prior to the webinar. Enter as a Guest and sign in with your name and your agency’s name. You will be able to listen through headphones or speakers and type in your questions. If you are unable to attend the live session, this webinar will be recorded and posted to the Illinois State Library website.

Prior to the Connect Pro meeting, test your connection by clicking on either of these links:


Contact Suzanne Schriar (217-785-1533) or Mary Pelich (217-782-0974) with questions.

Targeting Autism Connects People & Resources: A personal account

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Rachel Combs (pictured above), Public Services Manager at the University of Kentucky, Science and Engineering Library attended the 2017 Targeting Autism forum hoping to learn more about how she could remove barriers for people with autism and other disabilities in her library. 

 Rachel first became involved with the Targeting Autism project in 2016 while researching resources to help others with an autism diagnosis.  Through her research on the subject of autism and her involvement with Targeting Autism, she has since created a Library Employee Sensitivity Training Video and an expansive LibGuide on the University of Kentucky’s website.  The training video has been shared university-wide and is slated for use in training library assistants at the university.

But the best part of all, claims Rachel, was the opportunity to share with and learn from other professionals in her field at the forum.

 Read Rachel’s story, posted September1, 2017, here. 

If you have a personal impact testimony that you would like to share, please send it to Suzanne Schriar or Mary Pelich.