Showing posts from 2015

Free Webinar: Sensory Integration presented by Christy Isbell

There is no shortage of professional development opportunities on the topic of youth with disabilities this season, and I'm especially thankful for the gift of free learning opportunities! Here's one that I'm really looking forward to viewing...

Sensory Integration: Recognizing and Responding to Young Children with Sensory Issues Thursday, December 10, 2015, 1:00-2:00pm CST
Hosted by edWeb,net, a free professional learning network, and sponsored by Kaplan Early Learning Company.

This relevant webinar will be presented by Christy Isbell, pediatric therapist, professor, and author of Sensory Integration: a Guide for Preschool Teachers (which we have listed on our Resources page). Tune in to learn what sensory integration is and how it impacts young children's learning and behavior. Christy will focus on three areas that should be helpful for all librarians working with children ages 3-8:
What is sensory integration?How can you identify children who are "sensory seeker…

LACONI Workshop: Opening the Doors--Serving Special Populations

Opening the Doors: Serving Special Populations
Friday, February 26, 2016
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Workshop Fee: LACONI Member: $30; Non-Member: $40
Register here!

"Opening the Doors:  Serving Special Populations" is an upcoming LACONI YSS professional development opportunity for librarians and library staff looking to learn more about serving special populations at their libraries.  This full-day workshop will feature guest speakers from the Northwest Special Recreation Association (NSWRA) and JJ's List.  There will also be a two-hour discussion about serving the homeless. This workshop is open to anyone that works with the public.

Hinsdale Public Library
20 East Maple Street
Hinsdale, IL 60521

Workshop Agenda
9:00 - 9:50 a.m. Registration & Continental Breakfast
9:50 - 10:00 a.m. Business Meeting
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. “Empathy” presented by the Northwest Special Recreation Association
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. “Serving Differently-abled Patrons” presented by the Dis…

Autism Lecture: "Different, Not Less: NeuroTribes and the Future of Neurodiversity"

Here's another event you don't want to miss!
Family Action Network is hosting Steve Silberman, the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, which was recently awarded the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.

I haven't read the book yet, but the advance reading copy is loaded on my Kindle and calling out to me. According to Mr. Silberman's publisher, Neurotribes is "a groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently." Does it call to you, too?

Mr. Silberman's upcoming lecture entitled, "Different, Not Less: NeuroTribes and the Future of Neurodiversity" will take place on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 7:00 PM at New Trier High School, Northfield Campus - Cornog Auditorium (7 Happ Rd. Northfield, Illinois 60093).

The presentation is sponsored by the Center for Independ…

Check in with SNAILS! Free Online Videos and Training

Since SNAILS began in 2013, we have hosted a variety of knowledgeable guest speakers to provide training and learning for our members.  What makes the SNAILS networking group unique is that we go the extra mile to record parts of our meeting and share them online to provide opportunities for professional development to those that can't be with us in person.  You don't have to be a youth services librarian to learn something from these presentations--library staff from any type of library serving any age group can learn from these guest speakers. 

Whether you weren't able to make the trip to one of our Illinois library meeting locations, or you're from out of state and want to see what you can apply to your own library community, we have something for everyone!

Here's a short list of links to videos featuring guest presenters:

Giant Steps: Music therapist Kylie Kirksey from Giant Steps shares tips for using music in library programs to engage children on the autism…

"Light The Way Grant:" Applications Now Accepted!

What is the "Light The Way" Grant? The ALSC/Candlewick Press "Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved" Grant was formed in honor of Newbery Medalist and Geisel Honoree author Kate DiCamillo, and the themes represented in her books.  The award consists of a $3,000 grant to assist a library in conducting exemplary outreach to underserved populations through a new program or an expansion of work already being done.
The  ALSC Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee will select the winner of this award based on an application process. Special population children may include those who have learning or physical differences, those who speak English as a second language, those who are in a non-traditional school environment, those who live in foster care settings, those who are in the juvenile justice system, those who live in gay and lesbian families, those who have teen parents, and those who need accommodation service …

Webinar Opportunity: Inclusive Programming for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

When: Thursday, November 12, 2015 from 1:30 - 3:00 PM CST
Registration Information: Click here to register through L2 calendar
Webinar Cost: FREE!

The majority of library visitors are comfortable navigating their way through the library, approaching staff with questions and using available resources. But for some, these basic library experiences can be intimidating. 

Presented by Noelle Burch and Gina Worsham, librarians from Contra Costa County Library System in California, this webinar will provide participants with the tools to make basic, yet effective changes to their programming in order to create an inclusive library atmosphere for adults with developmental disabilities. The information presented in this webinar will guide library professionals on how best to create and implement a program at their library, as well as helping to identify community partners, perform community outreach and how to effectively create inclusive programming. 

For find out more about what their…

Programming through Partnership for Adults with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 
9:30 AM to 11:00 AM (CST)
Cost: FREE!
Schaumburg Township District Library
130 South Roselle Road
Schaumburg, IL

According to the CDC, one in 68 children has autism, and numbers are rising. As these kids turn 21, all of the supports and services they have been receiving under the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) will no longer be available to them. 

Programming through Partnership for Adults with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome will showcase a dynamic panel discussion featuring Kate Niehoff, Program & Outreach Coordinator fromSchaumburg Township District Library (STDL) and Targeting Autism Forumparticipant. This panel will focus on a series of programs at STDL targeted on its adult patrons with ASD.  Representatives from STDL’s community partners, including the local school district, community college, autism resource center, and an involved parent of an adult son with autism will talk about the specific…

Institute for Therapy Through the Arts Open House

Sharing an invitation to a wonderful event!

Institute for Therapy Through the Arts (ITA) Open House Thursday, October 29, 2015, 2:00-7:00pm ITA 1702 Sherman Ave Evanston, IL 60201
We would like to invite our colleagues in the educational, mental health, and medical communities to join us for an open house at our facility in downtown Evanston. We've planned an enjoyable and informative event providing you with many opportunities to learn about creative arts therapy and ITA. Come and take part in several interactive demonstrations of music, art, dance/movement, and drama therapies.  We will also be offering continuing education workshops throughout the day for school psychologists, marriage and family therapists, social workers and counselors.  Please sign up for which you would like to attend. There is a one time $15 fee if you wish to earn continuing education credit for these.

Join us at this excellent networking event, whether you stay for 20 minutes or 2 hours! Refreshments pr…

"Serving Deaf Patrons" with ASL Interpreter Kathy MacMillan

Come to the joint NWYS/CLASS meeting on Monday, November 9 and learn from librarian and certified ASL interpreter Kathy MacMillan as she provides tips on serving hearing impaired patrons in our libraries and basic conversational signs for a library setting.

Kathy MacMillan is co-author of Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together, a professional resource for librarians, teachers, and educators that provides strategies for serving deaf and hard of hearing children combining American Sign Language and early literacy activities.

9:30 am—10:15 am NWYS & CLASS Business Meeting (NWYS and CLASS members)10:15 am—10:30 am Break10:45 am—11:45 am Serving Hearing Impaired Patrons12:00 pm—1:00 pm Lunch* 1:00 pm—1:30 pm Tour of LaGrange Public Library
Program Cost: Free for NWYS/CLASS Members and $10 for non-members

*Lunch: $10; box lunch choices are: (specify selection in RSVP): Chicken Pesto, Tomato Mozzarella (vegetarian), Turkey swiss, Ham or Turkey on Pretzel r…

Toys "R" Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids

Hot off the press! The latest edition of the Toys "R" Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids has just been published online, and Toys "R" Us is currently taking orders for the print edition. This guide is developed in collaboration with Lekotek play specialists who evaluate and recommend toys according to their developmental benefits. While the information focuses on the needs of kids with disabilities, the toys are not adapted in any way so the guide is helpful for parents of children of all abilities!

I've ordered a box of 250 guides to share between us at our October meeting in Glenview. While I don't find the print version to be very popular with my sensory storytime families, you are welcome to place an order for a full box to share with your community partners and patrons.

Announcing NEW Library Grant: Autism Welcome Here!

The "Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services and More" grant is sponsored by Libraries and Autism: We're Connected. This grant honors the groundbreaking work of Libraries and Autism co-founder Meg Kolaya for her contributions in promoting inclusion, connecting libraries and the autism community, and bringing awareness of the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families to the library community.* Apply Online Here
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. Any type of library can apply and the proposal can fund projects and services for any age group. Applicants may propose to initiate a new, creative program or service, bring an already-existing, successful program or service to their library for the first time, or enhance a program or service they already of…

Accessibility Topics at Illinois' "A Library State of Mind" Conference

Looking to learn about outreach and serving patrons inclusively and accessibly at this year's state library conference?  Join other public, school, academic, and special libraries at this year's conference "A Library State of Mind" where we will connect, network and learn together about serving ALL of our community members.

Getting Started with Outreach In Your Community 
Thursday, October 22 at 10:45 am
This interactive class will provide a background in cultural competence and outreach skills as librarians make outreach efforts to underserved and minority populations in their communities. The goal of this course is to offer concrete ideas to enable librarians to initiate outreach programs with minority communities. Topics to be covered include resources for locating community demographics, the importance of developing relationships, the basics of building and developing community-based partnerships, recognition and acceptance of cultural differences, and the …


 More than 1 out of 10 people in Illinois have a disability.
In recognition of the anniversary of ADA25, the RAILS library system as partnered with ADA25Chicago to offer professional development and learning opportunities to librarians and library staff about serving people with disabilities.  Here is a snapshot of what is available for you and your staff from now until the end of the year.

Webinar: “Beyond Assistive Technology: Improving Library Services to People with Disabilities”
Thursday, August 20 from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. More info:
Webinar: “Autism 101 for Libraries: What is Autism Spectrum Disorder and How Can We Help Students and Families at the Library?” Thursday, September 17, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. More info:
In-Person Training: “Mental Health Awareness Training for Library Staff” Wednesday, October 7, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Location: Skokie Public Library More info: http://www…

Learning about Special Population Children at ALA Annual!

There are many opportunities for learning about serving special population children at ALA!  So, as you make your final schedule for 2015 ALA Annual in San Francisco, the ALSC Library Services to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee encourages you to add the programs below.
Library Services for the Incarcerated and Detained | Saturday, 06/27/2015 – 08:30am – 10:00am | Marriott Marquis San Francisco – Yerba Buena Salon 04

Hearing on Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dementia | Saturday, 06/27/2015 – 10:30am – 11:30am | Moscone Convention Center – 133 (N)

Next Chapter Book Club: A Community-based Model for Engaging People with Disabilities | Saturday, 06/27/2015 – 10:30am – 11:30am | Moscone Convention Center – 2000 (W)

AIDS in the End Zone: Working with Incarcerated Youth to Create a Graphic Novel on HIV/AIDS Prevention | Saturday, 06/27/2015 – 01:00pm – 02:30pm | Moscone Convention Center – 122 (N)

Conversation Starter: Beyond Print — Audiobooks,…

New Graduate Level Course on Accessibility Services at Dominican University

Check it out! Dominican University Graduate School of Library & Information Science is offering a new course this fall...

LIS 806.01 Special Topics: Serving Children with Disabilities
1.5 credit hours. Wednesdays, 10/21-11/18/15 and 12/2-12/9/15; 9am-12pm

According to recent U.S. Department of Education statistics, 6.4 million children and youth ages 3-21 received special education services in 2011-2012 due to an identified disability. In a six-week course taught by assistant professor Sujin Huggins, students will become familiar with the characteristics of physical, medical, psychological, and learning disabilities. They'll also learn ways in which librarians can work with other community organizations to serve patrons with a wide range of needs.

As alumni, Renee and I couldn't be more proud of Dominican University for developing a course that helps prepare future librarians to serve children with special needs. If you are pursuing an MLS be sure to register for this course …

Chicago Abilities Expo

In case you've missed the billboard ads don't miss the Chicago Abilities Expo! This FREE, three-day event is being held June 12-15, 2015 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center.

Register now and plan to spend at least a day at this enormous event. Browse the exhibit floor to discover helpful products and services for your patrons including assistive technology. Catch inspiring demonstrations of adaptive dance and sports. Learn about the benefit of service animals. Purchase an original piece of work from the Artist Market.

The event I'm most excited about is the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act presented by the ADA National Network and The Legacy Project. Their Friday morning workshop, ADA: a Civil Rights Legacy will tell the story of the fight for civil rights in housing, employment, and education and address future challenges and opportunities. Right after the workshop, I plan to check out the ADA Legacy Tour, a traveling exhibit …

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Survey for Illinois Libraries

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus is conducting a survey as part of ADA 25 Chicago to identify best practices in community inclusion for persons with disabilities. RAILS libraries are encouraged to participate. The information will be used to formulate and share best practices for accessibility. Responses are due by Friday, June 5. 

Direct questions to Jeffrey Walter or 312.201.4508.

Library Technology and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Survey

Team SPECTRA, one of the ILEAD USA 2015 teams, is focusing their project on technologies that will make libraries welcoming and useful to people with autism spectrum disorder. In an effort to gauge current knowledge and programs and learn what tools would be helpful, the team has created a short survey. Staff from all types of libraries are encouraged to participate.

For a link to the survey, click here: The deadline for survey submissions is Monday, June 1.

For any questions, please contact Natalie DeJonghe.

Disability Awareness Training for Staff

How does your library prepare staff for inclusive customer service?  Before you plan or implement any targeted programs for people with disabilities, it's important to provide staff with the tools they need to welcome library patrons equitably and respectfully.

This month, staff at the Glen Ellyn Public Library will spend part of their in-service day participating in a disability awareness training hosted by JJ's List and the Disability Awareness Players.  This will be an opportunity for library staff at all levels to learn about disability-friendly customer service strategies led by trained professionals and self-advocates.  

In addition to the all-staff training, Youth staff will focus their afternoon on learning specifically about autism spectrum disorder.  In recognition of April as Autism Awareness Month, our Youth Department will learn what we can do to be more welcoming children with ASD.  In order to prepare for this discussion, staff filled out a brief survey to ass…

Opening the Doors, Reaching the Underserved

Looking for some professional development about serving underserved populations in libraries?  Check out this upcoming LACONI program hosted at the Indian Prairie Public Library in Darien, Illinois.  

Opening the Doors, Reaching the Underserved 
Friday, April 24, 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
Indian Prairie Public Library, Darien IL

Brief Agenda
10:00 am: The Northwest Special Recreation Association gives their Empathy Presentation.
11:00 am: The Disability Players from JJ's List present a skit about serving differently-abled patrons.
1:00 pm: Journeys: The Road Home discusses serving the homeless.
2:00 pm: PFLAG  (Parents, families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) discusses how to make the library more welcoming to LGBTQ families and teens.

Purchase Tickets Here

Targeting Autism Survey: ISL Needs Your Input Now!

The Illinois State Library (ISL) has received an IMLS Leadership Grant to explore how libraries across the state can best serve people affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The goal is to develop an action plan for libraries to increase autism awareness, education, and support services; establish sustainable partnerships; and improve access to information about autism. Some of our very own SNAILS members will be participating in the Targeting Autism forums this year. The exciting news is that everyone can participate in the project by taking the Targeting Autism survey.
According to ISL Associate Director Suzanne Schriar, "the purpose of the survey is to better understand your needs, priorities, and interests around ASD in order to guide the development and delivery of ASD information services by community libraries across the state. Please share the survey [which is available in English and Spanish] with your patrons, friends and all Illinois residents who have been person…

Inclusive Summer Reading Strategies

The Illinois Library Association's IREAD Committee wants to know how libraries can make summer reading inclusive to children of all abilities, and they've reached out to SNAILS for suggestions! Since you already have summer reading on the brain, won't you take a few minutes to submit your special needs or inclusive strategies to be considered for the 2016 IREAD Resource Guide?
Don't worry if you haven't tried out the idea yet. We are all still in the learning process! What we want to do is get in the habit of designing our programs with different abilities in mind before the reading club/program starts so that we don't have to make last minute accommodations. How would you design your summer reading club/program to be accessible to all? How could you apply universal design to the following components?  Registration and Recording Programs and EventsInclusive Programming StrategiesCrafts, Makerspaces & DIYPartnershipsDecorations and DisplaysPublicity and Prom…

We Are Accessibility Advocates!