Disability Friendly Fort Wayne STARTs with Our Public Library

START-CSD-4-18
(left to right) Christy Johnson, Naomi Gurevich, Stacy Betz, & Haley Downer

Our Waterfield Foundation funded “Disability Friendly Fort Wayne” START project is accelerating! On March 30th, communication sciences and disorders (CSD) faculty Naomi Gurevich and Stacy Betz and CSD students Christy Johnson and Haley Downer met with Allen County Public Library staff to discuss how the library could better serve individuals with communication challenges.

The group identified two areas for partnership. First, the team will develop detailed training on working with people with dementia. Downer, who works at the New Haven library branch, identified the space used for reading newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals as a high interest area for older adults who use the library. The START team will develop a training curriculum for library staff that will be implemented in fall 2018.

Library staff also were interested in training on a range of communication disorders that would give them some general strategies for working with customers when communication breakdowns occur. The START team will develop a proposal for this overview training that will be reviewed for possible selection in an upcoming staff training day.

Our “Disability Friendly Fort Wayne” START team is still accepting applications from local businesses who want to better serve individuals with communication challenges. Please contact Gurevich if you’re interested!

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