Dakota County Library is making its programs and services more welcoming to people of all abilities, including by offering Sensory-Friendly Early Open events at Galaxie Library in Apple Valley. Those who are on the autism spectrum or have other sensory needs can participate in a scavenger hunt, make buttons, watch a 3D-printing demo, try Sensory Storytime, meet therapy dogs and more.
“The goal of this program is to create a welcoming space and environment that connects people with the Library and with each other," said Renee Grassi, the Library's youth services manager. “We want people to know that libraries are for everyone."
The Library provides tools from the new accessibility kit at the programs. Sign language interpretation will be available. Galaxie's calming space will also be available during the events. The calming space is designed for individuals who need a comforting area to regulate while at the library, especially those with autism, sensory or other disorders.
Upcoming events will be July 21 and Aug. 11. Additional information can be found on the Sensory-Friendly Early Open page.
Launched in fall 2018, Sensory-Friendly Early Open is presented in partnership with the Autism Society of Minnesota and Fraser. It is sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Services Disability Services Innovation Grant.