Sign Up for Autism Basics Webinar

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autism-basics

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 http://webjunctionillinois.adobeconnect.com/autism101/ 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:

https://admin.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

or

http://webjunctionillinois.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

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

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Targeting Autism Connects People & Resources: A personal account

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Rachel_Combs_family_autism walk

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.

 

 

Autism Basics: A primer for librarians & literacy providers

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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. 

 The online webinar will be delivered using Adobe Connect Pro. To join the meeting, go to  http://webjunctionillinois.adobeconnect.com/autism101/ 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 http://isl.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm or

https://admin.acrobat.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm.

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

The “Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services and More” Grant

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GrantLogo4a   Meg Kolaya

This grant honors the groundbreaking work of Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected co-founder, Meg Kolaya, for her contributions in promoting inclusion, connecting libraries with the autism community, and bringing awareness of the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families to the library community.

Grant Description

Each year, a total of $5,000.00 will be awarded. Depending on the applications received, one grant for the full amount or multiple grants for smaller amounts totaling $5,000.00 may be awarded.  All types of libraries, either in the United States or Canada, are encouraged to apply and proposals can fund projects and services directed to any age group.  Applicants may propose to initiate a new, creative program or service, bring an established, successful program or service to their library for the first time, or enhance a program or service that they currently offer.  All proposed projects must benefit people with autism or their families, directly or indirectly.  Funds may be used to hire a trainer to present a workshop, buy program materials, pay for staff, etc.

Dates

Applications will be accepted starting September 1, 2017.

The application deadline is December 1, 2017.

The winning applicant(s) will be notified by March 1, 2018.

The grant funding period is from April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019.

 Criteria for Selection

  1. The project is clearly described and well thought out.
  2. The potential impact is significant.
  3. There is institutional support for the program or service.
  4. People with autism, family members or other community stakeholders are involved in the development and/or implementation of the project.
  5. The program is one that would be replicable in other communities.
  6. The program or service is based on an understanding of the needs of people with autism and/or best practices in working with this population.
  7. There is a plan for the continuation of the service or program after the grant year.
  8. The project would not be possible without outside funding.

Grant Forms

The following 2018 grant form can be downloaded here:

  1. The Grant Application – All questions must be answered, unless they are marked “optional”.
  2. The Grant Sample Budget Sheet
  3. The Grant Report Guidelines

Applications, budget sheets, institutional letters of support and other supporting documentation must be submitted as email attachments to: grant@librariesandautism.org

Mokena Public Library Serves as a Model of Community Inclusion

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For over fifty years, the Mokena Community Public Library has provided inclusive programming for their residents. They have adapted to the changing needs of their diverse community while remaining a central informational and social hub for the village.

Cathy Hoffman and Kathy Ruggio, library staff members, attended the 2017 Targeting Autism forum in Springfield to explore how the library might address the needs of patrons and families impacted by autism. They left the forum with great ideas about adapting services in her library. Wasting no time, they pitched the ideas to the board of directors.  With the green light from the board and Library Director, Cathy Palmer, they embarked on an exciting mission to make Mokena Public Library truly inclusive.  Seeking advice, they contacted Mary Pelich, Autism Consultant and Trainer with the Targeting Autism Project, for a professional consultation.

Mary toured the Mokena Public Library on July 27, to assess their space and discuss ways to make their library more welcoming for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. During the consultation, all explored the possibility of converting several spaces into “calming environments” by making just a few inexpensive adjustments.  Lighting was considered as well as noise levels, neighboring library departments, furniture options, privacy and signage for the space.  They also looked at the children’s story/activity room, a large, dedicated area full of tables and chairs with built-in work spaces.  For children with sensory sensitivities, however, it is rather busy-looking and is too large for use with a smaller group.  Ways to partition the space, adapt the lighting, make it more comfortable and minimize visual content were discussed.

In addition, staff is working with nearby libraries to learn about any inclusive services and programs that they are currently providing. Several libraries in the region are partnering to offer special programming on a rotating basis so that families in the larger community have a weekly option for special programs, such as sensory storytimes.  Toward this end, the Mokena Public Library Children’s Department is planning to offer a monthly sensory-friendly program.  Staff members from the Children’s Department are also working on adapting activity kits for circulation.

Collaborations are underway with local service organizations in the area. Partnering with service providers will lend expertise for environmental or programmatic changes in the library. The library will then explore ways to enhance or adapt their programs and services specifically for individuals and families connected to the providers.  In this way, they hope to reach children, adults and families that may have never used the library before.

Because community access to reliable resources plays an essential role for public libraries, the Mokena Library has prioritized the development and expansion of an autism resource center. Parents, caregivers, educators and residents will be able to rely on well-vetted resources along with the personalized assistance of librarians and staff.

Clearly, the Mokena Community Public Library strives each day to achieve their mission as the most welcoming and inclusive library possible. The staff is dedicated to forming alliances with their patrons in order to serve them with information, access to useful resources, and opportunities for socialization and personal growth.  They successfully collaborate within the Village of Mokena and the greater community to find opportunities that will engage people and get them excited to use their library.

If you would like to know more about the Targeting Autism project’s consultation and training opportunities, contact Mary Pelich.

Targeting Autism is supported by an LB21 Institute of Museum and Library Services grant and the Illinois State Library.

Autism Welcome Here Grant Program is Making a Difference

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One significant outcome of the first Targeting Autism Forum in 2015 was the creation of the Autism Welcome Here Grant Program conceived by Barbara Klipper during a small group brainstorming session about strategies to help libraries become more inclusive of the ASD population.

 

For five years, beginning in 2016 a total of $5000.00 is awarded to a library or libraries for developing initiatives that benefit individuals with ASD and their families. The winners are invited to the annual Targeting Autism Forum, where they introduce their projects to other librarians and representatives of organizations serving people with ASD.

The 2016 winners included the Simsbury (CT) Public Library and Tarrant County College, Fort Worth, TX.  To see how their projects have made an impact on their local communities, visit the Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected web page.

A Call Out to Libraries Offering Programs for Individuals with Autism!!!

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Please take time to share your offerings with us.   Whether it’s sensory storytime, job coaching, gaming nights, sensory friendly movie nights, etc…

We want to know what programming makes your library inviting to individuals with autism so that we can share, nationwide, evidence that your library is an autism welcoming place.

Targeting Autism has a unique opportunity through a collaboration with Autism Speaks to promote your programs on their website event calendar.

Tell us who you are, where you are located and what programs make your library autism friendly.

Please send your information to Suzanne Schriar