The University of Washington has recently released a new Autism-Ready Libraries Toolkit to help you develop more inclusive services and programming. Your library may already offer a sensory-aware storytime, but how else can you promote accessible and inclusive services? The toolkit’s three modules include Autism Acceptance and Inclusion, Autism-Inclusive Customer Service, and Inclusive Early Literacy Services. Children and adults with autism have a variety of interests and needs, and library staff discussions can begin with a discussion of neurodiversity, consideration of generalizations and misunderstandings about autism spectrum disorders, and ways to build improved understandings. The toolkit will then help you explore how to build better services to all patrons and develop inclusive family programming.
We’re grateful to our friends at WebJunction for their excellent July 2023 article, which contains links to the toolkit training modules, useful resources, a free course, and a recorded webinar.