Including Children with Special Needs at Your Library!
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Including Children with Special Needs at Your Library! Tammie Benham, Coordinator Kansas Inservice Training System Early Childhood Resource Center. Why is this important? . Helps develop literacy skills they will need for succeess in life

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Including Children with Special Needs at Your Library!Tammie Benham, CoordinatorKansas Inservice Training SystemEarly Childhood Resource Center

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Why is this important?

  • Helps develop literacy skills they will need for succeess in life

  • Helps develop socialization skills, some of the most important skills needed to be happy and

  • Helps children learn to accept differences in others PLUS

  • The law includes young children!

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  • Children learn best through active, engaged, meaningful experiences,” -Helm & Gronlund, 2000

  • Parents need support

  • Set the example

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Things to Consider…

“Children…learn from hands-on, thought-provoking experiences,” -Helm & Gronlund, 2000.

Ask yourself:

  • Can children with disabilities get into my library? How about the children’s section?

  • Can each child in your group reach the needed materials?

  • Is each child actively participating?

  • What could you do to make your programming more accessible?

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How Can You Do This? Easily!

  • “…(all) young children construct their own knowledge by interacting with their environments and (with) others…” -Helm & Gronlund, 2000

  • Ask parents about supports!

  • ATK has suggestions for you & families

  • Text to Speech Software (most have free downloads)

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How balanced is your collection?

Are all or most of the kids in storytime squirming? Consider:

  • Is the book appropriate for the age or developmental level of the children in the group?

  • Are there special needs that are keeping children from participating fully such as low vision, the need for an interpreter or the need for physical supports?

  • Does your collection contain books the child can identify with?

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What if a Parent is Concerned?

  • 5,773 children birth to three years old and 9,179 children three to five years old receiving special education services in Kansas

  • Infants and Toddlers,children birth to three years old, are identified and served through Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Infant/Toddler Services

  • If a child is over three years old, children are identified and served by Kansas State Department of Education, Student Support Services. If you have concerns, contact your local school district. If they can’t provide you with the necessary information, contact KSDE.

  • Early Childhood Resource Center can help identify and provide information directly to parents of children with special needs

    OPAC, ILL & direct checkout to parents available

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Resources & References

  • ALA’s Disability Policy

  • BornLearning.org

  • Council for Exceptional Children: Teaching Exceptional Children Plus

  • Early Childhood Resource Center

  • Everyday Times

  • Helm, J. & Gronlund, G. (2000). Linking standards and engaged learning in early childhood. Early Childhood Research & Practice, 2(1).

  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Infant/Toddler Services

  • Kansas Inservice Training System

  • Kansas Kids, Ready for Learning

  • Kansas State Department of Education/Student Support Services

  • Guide For Reviewing Children's Literature That Include People with Disabilities


  • Make a Difference Information Network

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Resources & References, Cont.

  • Prepare my child for school: Healthy Start, Grow Smart Series

  • Roads to Learning: The Public Libraries’ Learning Disabilities Initiative

  • Zero to three

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Contact Information

Tammie Benham, Coordinator

Kansas Inservice Training System

Early Childhood Resource Center

2601 Gabriel

Parsons, KS 67357

800-362-0390 x1651

620-421-6550 x1651

[email protected]

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Where can I get this presentation?

This powerpoint and a handout of resources can be found at