Awesome Everywhere!

Congo, the Democratic Republic of the

Bukavu

United Arab Emirates

Dubai

United States

Alamance County, NC

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Ann Arbor, MI

Asheville, NC

Atlanta, GA

Austin, TX

Baltimore, MD

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Boulder, CO

Buffalo, NY

Cass Clay

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Detroit, MI

Gloucester, MA

Indianapolis, IN

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Los Angeles, CA

Louisville, KY

Madison, WI

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Northern Virginia (NOVA)

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San Antonio, TX

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San Jose, CA

Santa Fe, NM

Seattle, WA

South Bend, IN

Tallahassee, FL

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Youngstown, OH

All Abilities Lending Collection

The Saline District Library (MI) is compiling a collection of gadgets and equipment available for check out by patrons called the All Abilities Collection. The purpose of the collection is to allow parents/teachers/caregivers of special needs children and teens a chance to try out some of the many tools available for sensory integration and social skill development. Since children of all abilities respond differently to toys and equipment, it is often a challenge for parents of children with disabilities to know if any particular item is one that will work for their specific child. The lending nature of the collection will allow patrons to try these items out at home or school, allowing for a natural experience for the child and caregiver. It will also help the library serve their special needs community by showing that the library is inclusive and open to all. The special needs community is often underserved by or may feel excluded from traditional library programming. The library will be collaborating with local educators and an occupational therapist to select items that will offer a full spectrum of interests and needs, in addition to creating instructional guides that explain the operations of individual items as well as the therapeutic value they can offer.

What our grantee has to say:

“Wow! This grant is indeed AWESOME! We are putting together a collection of gadgets and equipment for parents/teachers/caregivers of special needs children and teens to try various tools available for sensory integration and social skill development. This collection will help patrons try these items at home or school allowing for a natural experience with the item. We will be providing an amazing, much needed, and helpful service to a patron base that is often under-served and who experience significant financial hardships. - Katie Mitchell, Teen Librarian, Saline Public Library

Often libraries are not viewed as places that would be supportive of special needs populations. To combat this, we need to provide services that speak directly to the needs of the community and to do the outreach so the intended patrons know these services and collections exist. By providing items that encourage inclusion, we are able to expand the role the library can play in the lives of more and varied patrons.”

What our trustees have to say:

“It is all encompassing in that it involves all stakeholders (educators, occupational therapists, care givers and parents) in its quest to provide suitable services to different types of inabilities.”

“The project is meant to assist all children with various types of special needs. It is all encompassing in that it involves all stakeholders (educators, occupational therapists, care givers and parents) in its quest to provide suitable services to different types of inabilities. The project is also run by someone with extensive experience in dealing with a child with severe disabilities. It’s passion-driven and highly likely to succeed. It is all inclusive in its approach.”

“The idea of a lending special collection for children of all abilities is a good reach out project for this community.”

“This project would fund gadgets and tools for differently abled patrons & their families. It seems well thought out, as they plan to work with an occupational therapist to select items.“

“Centering the library as a point of first exposure for resources of all types, this project could provide an excellent outreach opportunity and a reminder that the library is for everyone.”

“This project remains one that I continue to believe meets a specific need in the community with an inclusive approach that addresses differences in socioeconomic levels as well as the differences in needs of special needs children.”

Funded by Innovation in Libraries (May 2017)