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libraries and autism: we're connected

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Autism Welcome Here GrantLibraries and Autism is honored to sponsor the:
AUTISM WELCOME HERE: Library Programs, Services and More Grant.

The Grant Committee is proud to announce that the 2019-2020 grant recipients are the Oceanside (CA) Public Library and the Evelyn Hanshaw Middle School Library in Modesto, CA. As the winners of these grants, the Oceanside Public Library will receive $4000 for their project "Autism-Friendly Lending Library and Family Events" and the Evelyn Hanshaw Middle School Library will receive $1000 for their project "Team Titans Club."

** See Previous Grant Winners' Projects and Materials Here **

This grant program began in 2016 and the response to the first four cycles (2016-2019) has been impressive. It speaks not only to the on-going need, but to the willingness and effectiveness of librarians all over the country who are doing amazing things.
Thank you all for your applications, and your efforts to serve people with Autism Spectrum Disorder in your library.

The application period for the 2019 grant cycle is now closed.
The submission deadline was Dec. 1, 2018.
The grant funding period is April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

The winner(s) will be notified by March 1, 2019.

Applications for the 2020 grant will be accepted starting September 1, 2019.

Download the ADDM's 2018 Community Report on Autism HERE.
(Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network)
In 2008 Dan Weiss (Fanwood [NJ] Memorial Library) and Meg Kolaya (Scotch Plains [NJ] Public Library), together with their partners, created Libraries and Autism: We're Connected. This award-winning project produced a customer service training video and website primarily for library staff to help them serve individuals with autism and their families more effectively. The video focuses on what you need to know about autism and will empower you with specific techniques to offer more inclusive service to this growing and underserved population.

The resources here on the website, along with the on-site training workshops, which have been presented to hundreds of librarians around the country, expand on our customer service video to address the real world implementation of best practices and universal service for people with ASD and their families and helps staff to improve their ability to provide excellent, inclusive, universal customer service to everyone who uses the library.

Every library we visit tells us the same story of increasing numbers of families dealing with ASD who are turning to their public library for resources, programs and a community center where they are welcome. We stress communication, customer service, using individuals on the spectrum and with other developmental disabilities as staff and volunteers in the library, programming strategies that work, connecting with local experts, the importance of your own perspective and outlook, and empowering staff to be willing to 'do something'.


September 13, 2019
Athens-Limestone Public Library
Athens, Alabama - 9:30 a.m.

October 4, 2018
Nebraska Library Assoc./Nebraska School Library Assoc. 2018
Joint Annual Conference ** Relevance Through Connection: Serving Library Patrons on the Autism Spectrum
Lincoln, NE, Pre-Conference session

June 24, 2017
ALA 2017 Annual Conference Chicago
Taking on Autism: A Movement for Collaborative Solutions - 8:30 a.m.

Click HERE to see
where else we've presented in the past

For information on how to schedule an
In-Depth Training Workshop
for your own library or group,
please contact us at

button    Take a look at this Libraries and Autism FEATURE:
   Life Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism by Ron Suskind

button To receive a free "Libraries and Autism: We're Connected" Decal or a copy of the 2014 re-edited update of the DVD for your library, please contact us at and be sure to include your mailing address.

We encourage you to explore this site and make free use of our support resources.
email your comments and questionsPlease contact us anytime with questions, inquiries, comments or progamming suggestions, and take the time to let us know if the video and any of these materials have been of use to you.

Special thanks to Ben, Brianna and Marco and their families,
without whom this video would not have been possible.

We acknowledge the invaluable contributions of:

Adrienne Robertiello, Community Autism Educator for Children's Specialized Hospital and founder of Community Partnership for People with Autism, who inspired this project and helped create our logo, graphics and customizable resources.

Dr. Linda Meyer, Executive Director, Autism New Jersey .

Dr. Jill Harris, Ph.D. Director of program development and the ABA program at Children's Specialized Hospital

Cheryl O'Connor, Executive Director, LibraryLinkNJ

The Staff of Scotch Plains Public Library and Fanwood Memorial Library.

Mary Olive Smith (Flying Pup Productions) - Video Director and Producer

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All content is copyright Ⓒ 2008 - 2018 by Libraries and Autism and Fanwood (NJ) Memorial Library.
Free non-commercial use of any of these materials is permitted and encouraged to support autism awareness and inclusion.
Please acknowledge this project and link back to our site.