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libraries and autism: we're connected

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Autism Welcome Here GrantLibraries and Autism is honored to be sponsoring an ongoing grant offering, started in 2016, called:

AUTISM WELCOME HERE: Library Programs, Services and More.

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

The response to the first three cycles of this grant (2016-2018) has been impressive, and speaks not only to the ongoing 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.

Applications for the fourth year (2019-2020) of this grant program are NOW being accepted.
The deadline for submission is December 1, 2018.
CLICK HERE for more information about this unique grant opportunity, including details on submission and the application forms. Any type of library in the United States or Canada may apply.

In 2008 the Scotch Plains Public Library and the Fanwood Memorial Library, together with our 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, and the importance of empowering staff to be willing to 'do something'.


October 4, 2018
Nebraska Library Assoc./Nebraska School Library Assoc. 2018
Joint Annual Conference ** Re-envisioning Relevance: For Our Communities. For Ourselves.
Relevance Through Connection: Serving Library Patrons on the Autism Spectrum
Lincoln, NE
Pre-Conference session - 8:30 a.m.

December 13, 2018
Southern Maryland Regional Library Association, Charlotte Hall, MD - 2 workshops

July 24, 2018
Franklin Lakes (NJ) Public Library

December 6, 2017
Haverford (PA) Township Free Library

November 9, 2017
Alexandria Library, Alexandria, VA

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.

Library Connections
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.

Video Director and Producer, Mary Olive Smith.

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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.