On Monday 17th September, Newport Central library launched their first ‘friendly library’ session, in an important step towards inclusion.
Visiting the library can be a challenging place for many, including children with an autism spectrum disorder or with sensory or learning difficulties. However, this has just been made a bit easier for families across Newport as Central Library will be hosting monthly autism friendly sessions.
Mondays usually see the library closed to the public, which means visitors to these sessions can enjoy a more peaceful and relaxed visit. Children will be free to browse the books at their own pace in a safe environment. There will also be the opportunity to join in rhyme and craft sessions, or build, create and play sessions.
The autism friendly sessions will take place on the 3rd Monday of each month at Central Library between 3:30 and 5pm, however visitors will need to arrive by 4pm to gain access.
There will be a quite zone available if needed and staff will be on hand to help choose and issue books. Children will be able to access computers and navigate the library using picture signs and a corresponding map. The library is fully accessible, with an elevator and easy access toilet.
The following Newport businesses already offer regular Autism friendly events:
Where: Cineworld Cinema When: 11am on the first Sunday of each month
Cineworld runs regular Autism friendly screenings. During these films, the lights are left on and the volume is reduced. There are also no adverts or trailers prior to the film starting. Arrive before the film starts and you can choose where you want to sit and get settled in. You are also able to bring your own food to the screening to make everyone as comfortable as possible.
Where: Energi Trampoline Park When: Tuesday & Thursday 5pm
Energi provides inclusive trampolining sessions for young people with additional support needs. During these sessions the music is turned off, lights stop flashing and the number of people allowed in to jump is reduced. Full details of the Energi Friendly sessions can be found on their website.
Author: Emma Rees
When not out exploring, Emma can be found planning her next trip or writing about ones she has already been on. She blogs about community projects, events and anything else that grabs her attention.