Is your library looking to expand services to patrons with autism, but you are in need of funding to get your project started? Look no further than this new grant opportunity “Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services and More.”
This grant honors the groundbreaking work of Libraries and Autism co-founder Meg Kolaya for her contributions in promoting inclusion, connecting libraries and the autism community, and bringing awareness of the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families to the library community. This opportunity is funded by Barbara Klipper, librarian and author of Programming for Children and Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ALA Editions, 2014) and The Secret Rules of Social Networking (AAPC Publishing, 2015), a one-of-a-kind resource for teens and young adults with ASD or other social skills deficits that outlines the unstated rules that guide relationships in the real world and online as well.
Any type of library can apply and the proposal can fund projects and services for any age group. Applicants may propose to initiate a new, creative program or service, bring an already-existing, successful program or service to their library for the first time, or enhance a program or service they already offer. Each year, a total of $5,000.00 will be awarded. Depending on the applications received, one grant for the full amount or multiple grants for smaller amounts totaling $5,000.00 may be awarded. All programs or services proposed must benefit people with autism or their families, directly or indirectly. Funds may be used to hire a trainer to present a workshop, to buy program materials, to pay for staff, etc.
What to make sure that your grant has what it takes to be selected? Here are things to keep in mind when drafting your application:
- Make sure the project is clearly described and well thought out.
- Don’t forget to garner institutional support for the program or service.
- Include people with autism, family members or other community stakeholders as involved members in the development and/or implementation of the project.
- Develop your project or program so that it would be replicable in other communities.
- Base your program or service on an understanding of the needs of people with autism and/or best practices in working with this population.
- Your service or program should be sustainable after the end of the grant period.
The grant period is now open, so please apply online here! Completed applications must be submitted by December 1, 2015. The winner(s) will be notified by March 1, 2016. The grant funding period is April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.
Looking for other grant opportunities to serve other special populations? Don’t forget about ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way” Grant. Stay tuned–2016 applications will open later in the fall of 2015!