The High Point Public Library is Autism Certified!
High Point Library is now a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC). A designation awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to organizations that complete training. The training from subject matter experts and autistic self-advocates is on Individual Education Plans (IEP), autism, early childhood identification, behavior, parent communication, and co-occurring conditions. In addition to staff training, IBCCES also conducted an onsite review to provide additional recommendations on how to better welcome and accommodate patrons.
Autism Friendly programs and resources
A natural progression for the Children’s Division after completing the IBCCES certification was to begin offering programs that are more inclusive like our monthly sensory friendly story time. Story time is filled with songs, finger plays, stories, and other activities designed to better support sensory sensitive patrons. This program is so important because our mission is to serve everyone in our community with quality materials and programs.
To register for the Sensory Friendly Story time, go to: https://bit.ly/3XHyJ7s.
We know that navigating new spaces and experiences can be challenging for everyone. This can be especially difficult or distressing for children and adults that are neurodivergent. We have created sensory rescue packs that are located at every reference desk in the library. These rescue packs have items that may help if you or your child become overly distressed like, weighted lap blankets, noise cancelling headphones, a feelings chart, and a variety of stimming fidgets.
To learn more about the Sensory Rescue Packs, go to: https://bit.ly/3OYMWtr.
The library is only one of several City organizations to achieve this status, including the High Point Museum. Due to the efforts by these organizations, High Point has become the first Certified Autism Destination™ (CAD) on the east coast and the second CAD in the United States. This distinction is awarded by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) and recognizes High Point’s commitment to making its attractions, hotels, restaurants, and public spaces accessible and welcoming to autistic and sensory-sensitive individuals and their families.
This initiative was spearheaded by Visit High Point, who worked to onboard a variety of hospitality partners and businesses over the course of two years. To read more about this designation: https://ibcces.org/blog/2023/05/09/highpoint/.
The Rotary Club of High Point Sensory Garden
The Rotary Club of High Point Sensory Garden at the High Point Public Library will be a 7,000 sq.ft. self-contained garden area that allows visitors to enjoy a wide range of sensory experiences. It will offer a plethora of educational and recreational applications for those with autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, physical or mental disabilities, as well as a positive outdoor experience for all populations.
This project, which started as the Centennial project of the Rotary Club of High Point, will add to the other aspects of library services and resources that contribute to the library’s designation as a Certified Autism Center.