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Dimensions launches national drive for autism friendly libraries

Today [10 June 2016] we officially launch our training film and resources, to help libraries across the country become autism friendly.

Our research found that more than 90% of people with autism would use their library more, if some autism friendly adjustments were made.

In response to this, we have produced a staff training video and range of fact sheets, signage and social stories – available to download for free.

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Working with the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL), this training and support is available to all 3000 of the nation’s public libraries.

Funding from Arts Council England has made this possible and we’re proud to announce the film will receive its first screening today at the Society of Chief Librarians annual seminar in Warwickshire.

The film features young people and their parents and families talking about the impact public libraries have on their lives, and the adjustments and the understanding they need from staff and the public to make the library experience a great one.

Lisa Hopkins, Managing Director of Dimensions, said: “Dimensions already works in partnership with the UK’s 4 major cinema chains to offer autism friendly cinema screenings every month.

“We are delighted to be able to extend our expertise to the libraries network, through the partnerships which has allowed us to create these resources.”

Sarah Mears, Chair of ASCEL, said: “Libraries are at the heart of our communities and staff always want to give guests the best experience possible.

“I am excited about this initiative, it will help to raise staff awareness of autism friendly approaches and give them support to make a few simple adjustments which will make a huge difference to people with autism.”

Hopkins added, “The research is clear, a major barrier is awareness of autism, amongst library staff and library users alike.

“Respondents didn’t want much: a little kindness, to be not judged, and for a few simple adaptations to allow for sensory sensitivities. All parts of the community could learn something from that.”

The training materials are available to anyone. Find out more about autism friendly libraries.

Contact our press office

Email our Press Officer, Duncan Bell, at duncan.bell@dimensions-uk.org

Call us on 0300 303 9062

Follow @DimensionsUK on Twitter #autismlibraries