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St. Pete Beach Public Library recently partnered with The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at USF (CARD) to become an Autism Friendly Business.
St. Pete Beach Library becoming an Autism Friendly Business means:
Education and Awareness
Our staff received training about the characteristics and needs of an individual with ASD. They learned about communication strategies and special sensitivities as well as reasonable modifications that might be made to address a person’s needs for safety, comfort, and belonging.
A welcoming, compassionate, and nonjudgmental environment
Staff education creates awareness about some of the challenges that people with ASD and their families face and how to help make their visits to the library one that will be as successful and enjoyable as possible. Being nonjudgmental also means that if a visit ends prematurely or a family encounters difficulties, the staff are understanding, supportive, and encouraging.
Assisting families and individuals to be prepared for a visit to our library by providing a Social Experience Story. Access to resources such as social experience stories and other visual aids are provided on site, on our website spblibrary.com, and on the CARD-USF Autism Friendly Business webpage.
A handy CARD-USF “Distract Pak” is kept at the library for use by individuals with ASD or related Disabilities. This is a container full of sensory toys, comforting items, and activities for patrons who may need to have something to help them manage difficult situations.
Patrons will still be expected to abide by the St. Pete Beach Library Patron Code of Conduct to the best of their ability. If accommodations are needed, please speak with a library employee so they can be addressed.