March is National Disability Awareness Month, and the St. Joe County Public Library has both resources for people with disabilities and tools to educate people about numerous types of disabilities. The Library has hundreds of books on disabilities, including collections for children in grades K-3 and grades 3-6, as well as large print books, audiobooks and the following resources to assist those with special needs:
To make the experience of coming to the library more accessible, several branches have large print keyboards, hearing loops, noise reduction headphones, and communication boards that can be used for tele-meetings or with public computers.
The St. Joe County Public Library has aggregated local resources for those with disabilities, including nonprofit agencies that offer recreational and day programs, respite care, therapy and other resources and services.
Every branch location has a sensory kit created by Lighthouse Autism Center. When a person becomes overstimulated, the items in the kit can help to calm and relax the individual. Instead of having a sensory kit, the Main Library offers a sensory room that can be used by people with sensory processing disorders as a calming space when being in other library spaces starts to feel like too much. The room includes a bubble tube, light cubes, pop-its, a sound machine, sensory brushes, weighted blankets, and seat cushions. The room is a safe place for children with sensory processing issues, as well as those who become overstimulated and need a quiet place to relax.
The Main Library offers a dedicated video phone laptop for patrons with hearing impairments. The devices gives users the ability to communicate via sign language or visual communication. Patrons may check out the video phone at Main Library or at LaSalle Branch, and do not need a library card to use the device.