Sensory issues? The Library’s got your back.

10 Aug

I get a lot of emails from the Webster Public Library, and I joke with my friends over there about that. (It’s really not their fault. They just have SO MUCH cool stuff going on.) Sometimes the emails come so fast and furious, I can’t keep up with them, and they languish in my inbox for a few weeks, or until the next batch comes in.

BUT, having said that, one I received recently deserves some special attention. It read:

The Webster Public Library has partnered with KultureCity to make the library sensory inclusive!

This new initiative will promote an accommodating and positive experience for all guests with a sensory issue that visit the library. Sensory sensitivities or challenges with sensory regulation are often experienced by individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD, and other similar conditions.

The certification process entailed the staff at the Webster Public Library be trained on how to recognize those guests with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads will also be available to all guests who may feel overwhelmed by the environment. These individuals will also be able to have use of a dedicated sensory area with a sensory station for those who may need a quieter and more secure environment.

Prior to visiting the library, families can download the free KultureCity App where one can view what sensory features are available and where they can access them. Also, on the App is the Social Story which will provide a preview of what to expect while visiting the library.

This. Is. Huge.

So many in our community silently struggle with sensory issues. Their prevalence is masked in large part by the fact that people with these sensitivities often avoid places where they anticipate having issues, and when children are in a potentially troubling environment, hyper-aware parents are on guard to steer interactions in a safe direction.

No one should have to worry that sensory overload will ruin a fun and educational trip to the library. Every adult and child should be able to enjoy the library as the welcoming, comforting, nurturing place that it is.

Thank you, Webster Public Library, for being so understanding and accommodating.

* * *

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