Accessible, Autism-Friendly Experiences

A guest blog written by Autism Nova Scotia

Over the last 2 years, Autism Nova Scotia and Halifax Public Libraries have collaborated to develop an autism-friendly library system in HRM. By providing a variety of accessible resources and experiences, this partnership is paving the way for community understanding, acceptance, and inclusion.

If you’re interested, read on to learn more about a few of the opportunities offered through Halifax Public Libraries.

Autism Tool Kits

In November 2017, Autism Nova Scotia worked with Halifax Public Libraries staff to create several tool kit bags that provide a variety of helpful items you and your family can borrow and explore, free of charge. There are 4 bags offered, each themed around a different topic:

  1. The Sensory Tools kit lets you explore tools that can help with self-regulation in overwhelming situations and includes items like a weighted lap pad, harmony roller, and more.
  2. The Visual Tools kit assists with following instruction and accomplishing tasks by providing visual tools that can help you feel more prepared when transitioning between tasks and activities. This includes a dual power timer, “first, then” sample, checklist sample, and other useful visual resources.
  3. The Fidget Tools kit contains items that help you remained focused and calm. Fidgets allow you to exert productively during quiet activities like classroom lessons or work meetings. This kit includes hand fidgets, flexicubes, zipper bandz, and more.
  4. (New addition, April 2019) The Communication Tools kit has samples and information that are helpful with supporting communication and daily activities or tasks.

Autism Tool Kits are available through every Halifax Public Libraries branch. You can place a hold in the catalogue or contact your local branch to request a kit.

For more information, click here.

Autism Resource Library

In April 2017, Autism Nova Scotia donated its resource library of over 1,000 books, films, and more to Halifax Public Libraries. This donation ensures that, through interlibrary loans, everyone in the province has access to autism resources that have been vetted by trained and experienced parents, staff, and autistic individuals.

These resources are available through Halifax Public Libraries' catalogue. If you’re looking for specific recommendations, Zso Michele is a Certified Autism Specialist on staff at Halifax Central Library. They provide an extensive list of recommended reads here

You can also contact Victoria Ettinger, Autism Nova Scotia’s Family Supports Coordinator, at vettinger@autismns.ca for help with questions about autism resources.

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Halifax Public Libraries