The National Disability Insurance Agency funds Plumtree for a project providing resources and training to enhance the library experience for children with disability and their families.
A hub of learning
An accessible public library helps children with disabilities thrive. They provide opportunities for meaningful interaction with the community that can stimulate language, learning and develop social skills.
Evidence shows that inclusive settings also benefit neuro-typical children and enrich their understanding and attitudes toward disability.
Accessible libraries are vital for parents, carers, and the entire family to build connections, social supports, and become a part of the local community.
Developing skills and resources
In the pilot project, librarians will be mentored by Plumtree’s Peer Workers with lived experience in disability. Plumtree professional staff will also participate as required.
The mentorships will help library workers support young children with disabilities and their families through meaningful library access and engagement, and promote community education on disability. Inclusion may also be facilitated by providing child-friendly books, podcasts and videos on disability in the library catalogue.
Librarians and families of children with disabilities will also co-design resources for national distribution. They will cover the principles of meaningful inclusion, approaches to engagement, librarian support, and successful strategies from libraries involved in the project.
Eight to ten libraries and librarians in areas throughout Sydney where Plumtree has a presence will be involved in the pilot: the Inner West, City of Sydney, Canterbury-Bankstown, Bayside, Canada Bay, Sutherland Shire, Randwick, Woollahra and Waverley.
For more information, contact project manager Anne Rauch
Libraries as community connectors Newsletter #1 – November 2020
Libraries as community connectors Newsletter #2 – February 2021
Libraries inclusion project expands across NSW, online training program launched Blog Post – April 2021