AsIAm Awards Autism-Friendly Status to Kilkenny County Library Service

 

AsIAm is thrilled to award Kilkenny Country Library Service with autism-friendly status. This journey began in 2019 with a pilot project in Ferrybank Library with the introduction of sensory resources. Subsequently, they secured funding from Dormant Account Funding and approached AsIAm’s training team to see how they could build on their work towards accessibility and inclusion. Through our accreditation process, the team inspected all branches to identify areas for improvement.

 “We approached AsIAm to get some staff training and to enquire about the opportunity to obtain the accreditation for the library service. Fiona in AsIAm provided us with fantastic training sessions and having completed a sensory audit for each branch, she made some recommendations about how we could make some changes. All our library staff now have a greater understanding of autism and understand how the library can play a significant role in supporting autistic individuals. We have learnt how to view our library spaces differently and to consider how those with sensory differences can enjoy a better experience on a visit to the library. For example, three of our branches now have magic tables. All our branches now have a sensory box that can be used during a library visit.”

“We have developed a social story for each local library which can be viewed before coming to the library. Additionally, We have researched and developed collections of specialist toys and sensory resources and books which allow us to provide supportive services for children on the autism spectrum, for their families and their teachers. This includes providing sensory friendly programmes for autistic children in Autism Classes in addition to hosting talks and workshops for parents and teachers. All of us have gained a lot of knowledge and experience from working in this area and have created strong links with local schools, professionals and children and their families. We in Kilkenny County Library Service look forward to continuing to learn and further developing our services in the future.”

For more information about the services our Training Team provides, check here.

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