Showing posts from May, 2016

Early Open for Families with Special Needs: Explore the Fairy Tale Exhibit!

This post was written by Maria Papanastassiou, Early Literacy Services Supervisor at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library in Arlington Heights, IL. For more information about the Arlington Heights Memorial Library's services to families with children with disabilities, check out their Special Child webpage

Our library was fortunate enough to host a very successful Fairy Tale play exhibit for over two months this past winter.  Crowds of children and their caregivers enjoyed playing with the interactive exhibit pieces from open to close daily.  Due to the high customer traffic and noise levels each day, we wanted to offer an alternative time for exhibit exploration for families with members with special needs.  Our library is open daily at 9 am with the exception of Sundays when we open at noon; we chose a Sunday morning early opening time of 10:30 am to accommodate this program.  
How did we get this program off the ground?  Because the program was occurring before library openin…

Spring 2016 Meeting Recap: Child's Voice

At our spring meeting at Mount Prospect Public Library on May 11, 2016, we got to hear from Melissa Lundt, the Special Services Coordinator from Child’s Voice.

Child’s Voice was started by parents in 1996 as a way to empower their children who have hearing loss to learn and be successful. There are different programs: Early Intervention, a school program, and a transition program (the school program takes children up to 8 years old).

Melissa explained to us how hearing loss happens, what the staff at Child’s Voice do, and the technology that is available to people with hearing loss. What was of most interest to us in public libraries is how we can serve people with hearing loss best.

What we at public libraries can do:
1.Face the person when communicating with them.
2.Find out their name and use it.
3.Use visual aids.
4.Repeat important words and phrases.
5.Provide clear rules and expectations.
6.Talk naturally.

This was just a sample of what we learned, but these are the ones that st…

FREE DEMO! The Chicago Lighthouse's Low Vision Products Show

The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired 
Free Demonstration Day
Admission Cost: FREE!
Date: Tuesday, May 17
Time: 10 am - 3 pm
Location: Chicago Lighthouse North
222 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL 60025

The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired is hosting a free demonstration day!  Don't miss this chance to see innovative products and enjoy a hands-on experience with the latest in adaptive devices.  You will get a chance to see and interact with a variety of technologies, including:
New CCTV Reading MachinesPortable Magnifiers Talking Clocks and WatchesNew SunwearIndependent Living AidsKitchen Products...and much more!
Their technology specialists will even be there to answer questions and work one-on-one to determine the best products for you or your organization.  Click here to get a preview of the products that will be at this event. 

The Chicago Lighthouse is a world-renowned social service organization serving the blind, vi…

Activate! A Sensory Approach to Storytime

Our very own SNAILS group members Renee Grassi from Glen Ellyn Public Library and Sue Parsons from Plainfield Public Library presented an engaging program at the 2016 Reaching Forward Conference. This annual conference, hosted by Illinois Library Association, is a premier day of learning designed for library support staff. An audience of 40+ attentively learned a combination of theory and practice.

Click here to download Sue's Sensory Storytime Favorites handout, which includes themes, books, songs, albums, and activities she has used in her program.  And don't miss this extremely useful resource list of articles, books, and websites on the topic of serving children with disabilities.

If you're as captivated by Sue's approach as we are, don't miss her demo of Sensory Storytime from one of our previous SNAILS meetings.  You can find the video here!

What are some of your favorite resources for Sensory Storytime? Share them below in the comments!!

Autism in the Community webinar

This looks like a promising webinar, even if it's geared towards educators/clinicians. Registrants are sent a link to the archive, so if you can't view it live be sure to register!
Autism in the Community: A Desensitization Approach Wednesday, May 18 at 10 a.m. Central Time Hosted by
Many children with autism have atypical sensory behaviors, which may negatively impact their participation in the community. Research indicates that using a desensitization approach, which emphasizes the child's needs while creating a positive and structured experience, can significantly improve community participation.
Join this webinar and learn how to: Identify challenges encountered by families of children with autism, when participating in common community experiencesIdentify the child's sensory needsExplore ways to help the child desensitize to community experiencesTeach caregivers how to assess the environment using a sensory approachCreate and use visual language to aid with e…