A new facebook page has been created to provide an online forum to foster discussion and support for libraries to become more actively inclusive of the large patron population of people touched by autism. The facebook page is titled: Targeting Autism: Helping Libraries Serve Communities Touched by Autism. Please “Like,” post and share widely!
The Future of The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP), a Key Partner in the Targeting Autism Initiative, is Threatened
Hundreds of families in the Springfield area and thousands across the state face the possibility of abruptly losing services for their autistic children after an immediate $1 million budget cut by Gov. Bruce Rauner. The complete story is available here.
March Forum Concludes – Russ Bonanno Thanks Group for Participating in the First Forum of its Kind in the Country!!
Russ Bonanno (TAP) goes over the group’s marching orders to prepare for the September forum. Suzanne Schriar and State Library Director, Anne Craig make a few final remarks.
A Panel of Service Providers Discuss the Importance of Needs-Based Collaborations and Statewide Partners — March Forum, Day 2
Kristin Gharst, Family Resource Coordinator, TAP Program at CTF Illinios
Jan Pearcy, Associate Director, Eastern Illinois Area of Special Education
Misty Baker, Director, Eastern Illinois University Child Care Resource & Referral
Debbie Einhorn, Director, Family Matters Parent Training & Information Center
This panel served as a successful model of collaboration. They talked about the economic necessity of forming collaborations, finding out the needs of families, and finding people that are willing to work with you. The economic need for forming partnerships to deliver support services for the ASD community cannot be overstated. As Debbie Einhorn pointed out, “…unfortunately, we live in a state (IL) that doesn’t put a high priority on disability services… ranking second to last in the nation on dollars spent on disability services….”
Jim Runyon, Easter Seals, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives & Governmental Affairs addresses the following questions:
- Why is a community needs assessment crucial?
- How do you identify your service gaps?
- Who are your key stakeholders?
- What age group and geographic region are you trying to engage?
- How do you identify collaborators?
- How do you engage people where they are and keep them engaged?
Jim also stresses that having “fire in your gut” is key to a sustainable initiative. Jim Runyon, Easter Seals, Speaking on Community Needs Assessments (3 parts) Jim Runyon – Targeting Autism March Forum, Day 2, Part One Jim Runyon – Targeting Autism March Forum, Day 2, Part Two Jim Runyon – Targeting Autism March Forum, Day 2, Part Three
Mark Nolen leads the morning forum discussion by reviewing the survey comments and looks at challenges and opportunities for collaboration. Mark tells the group, “…Don’t disregard negative responses, even if they are few in number… Know about them, plan for them and move forward wisely…”
Does Library School Education Prepare Librarians to be Actively Inclusive? Some Great Initiatives and Much Work Left to be Done!
Panel presentations and discussion on the status of library education and training offered on ASD and related developmental disabilities.