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 assess their current awareness and knowledge of ASD as it relates to library programming and services.

Do you want to help your staff or colleagues to be more welcoming to children with autism in your library, but don't know where to start?  Put together a survey like this to figure out which areas your training can focus on. 

Children with Autism in Libraries 
Staff Training Survey
1. Please rate your familiarity with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Circle one.
1     Have no prior knowledge or understanding
10   Extremely knowledgeable/expert 

2. In this training, I would like to learn more about the following...  Please check all that apply. 

        Developmental characteristics of a child with ASD
        How to manage behavior of a child with ASD in a library setting
        What sensory processing disorder is and how it can affect a child with ASD
        Customer service tips for communicating with a child with ASD
        How to approach and build a rapport with a child with ASD
        Tips for interacting with parents or caregivers of a child with ASD
        What visual supports are and how I can create and use them for a child with ASD
        What a social story is and how it can support a child with ASD
        How to manage program transitions for a child with ASD
        Tips for making accommodations in a program for a child with ASD
        How to use music in a program with a child with ASD
        How to choose books for storytime that appeal to a child with ASD
        What type of books to recommend for a child with ASD
        What children and middle school books represent the ASD experience

3. Is there a particular situation or specific interaction that has occurred in a library setting that you would like this or future trainings to address? If so, please describe the situation or interaction below.