AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo Public Library Southwest Branch is now certified as sensory inclusive. This makes APL Southwest one of the first ten public libraries in the state to earn this certification.
“This is a way we can serve all of our community not just part of it,” Jessica Pershall with the Amarillo Public Library Southwest Branch said.
Special sensory bags equipped with noise cancelling headphones, fidget tools, and weighted lap pads are available at the youth desk.
Youth program coordinators, Carmel Barnhill and Jessica Pershall underwent special medical training before the certification process was completed.
“The training that was offered is to be able to spot how many are in distress and how to spot maybe somebody who might be in distress and need the tools we have to offer them,” Pershall said.
Through APL’s partnership with the Turn Center the staff at the Southwest Library were already experienced with sensory sensitive individuals such as those with autism, dementia or suffering from PTSD.
“They might not necessarily be completely on the spectrum but it’ll be something to help make their visit and knowing that they can come to the library easier,” Pershall said.
APL said the certification was funded by the non-profit group Friends of the Amarillo Public Library. The library also hopes to expand this certification to the other branches.
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