The Saline District Library (MI) is compiling a collection of gadgets and equipment available for check out by patrons called the All Abilities Collection. The purpose of the collection is to allow parents/teachers/caregivers of special needs children and teens a chance to try out some of the many tools available for sensory integration and social skill development. Since children of all abilities respond differently to toys and equipment, it is often a challenge for parents of children with disabilities to know if any particular item is one that will work for their specific child. The lending nature of the collection will allow patrons to try these items out at home or school, allowing for a natural experience for the child and caregiver. It will also help the library serve their special needs community by showing that the library is inclusive and open to all. The special needs community is often underserved by or may feel excluded from traditional library programming. The library will be collaborating with local educators and an occupational therapist to select items that will offer a full spectrum of interests and needs, in addition to creating instructional guides that explain the operations of individual items as well as the therapeutic value they can offer.
Check out this project + other innovative library grants at the Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation Chapter.