Funding of over €43,000 has been allocated to provide sensory facilities and equipment in Castlebar and Ballina libraries.

The Mayo-based Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring has allocated the funding to assist people with sensory impairments, special educational needs and other learning differences, including those on the Autism spectrum.

This part of a national investment of almost €700,000 for facilities which can include sensory library rooms, sensory toys and play equipment, assistive technologies, autism-friendly signage, books and social stories.

Minister Ring says he wants people living with autism or learning differences to see libraries as a safe and welcoming space for them and their families, and says they're working to ensure that library services are inclusive and accessible for all.

He says Castlebar Library will work closely with Castlebar Autism Friendly Committee, Mayo Autism Camp, local special needs schools and SNA's in ensuring the local community derives maximum benefit from the new facilities.

Likewise, Ballina Library will work with the Ballina Autism Support Group, the Newman Institute, Shore Farm Pony Therapy and a number of local schools.




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