The Peoria Public Library Main Branch and Sunrise Mountain locations have earned Certified Autism Center (CAC) designations, which are granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The CAC program offers autism training and certification to staff and volunteers, to better assist autistic and sensory-sensitive individuals during their visit.
“The city of Peoria strives to be an inclusive community where everyone is welcome,” says Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat. “This designation is a giant step in accomplishing that goal, and I want to thank library staff who went through many hours of training to learn the educational, behavioral, social, and emotional needs of individuals with autism necessary to attain this certification.”
“The Peoria Public Libraries are proud to serve our citizens by providing literacy, learning, and two beautiful libraries to visit,” shares Nathaniel Washburn, library manager. “Peoria libraries enrich Peoria’s evolving community through equal access to information while offering inclusive programs, innovative technology, and diverse collections. Our inclusive and dynamic programming gives Peoria families the opportunity to have fun and learn while connecting with other community members. We see our libraries as a civic hub where everyone is welcome and a part of the Peoria family.”
The need for autism-specific training among community and city organizations has never been more critical, with one in 44 children diagnosed with autism in the U.S. (according to the CDC) and a growing number of adults receiving autism diagnosis later in life. IBCCES training and certification programs help ensure professionals in a variety of fields better understand how to communicate and assist autistic individuals within their community.
“Partnering with the Peoria Public Library locations to strengthen important community services to be more inclusive and welcoming to all is the core of our mission at IBCCES. We’re excited to partner with these locations to implement lasting and impactful programs such as our certification to meet the needs of the community and to enhance services.” says IBCCES Board Chairman Myron Pincomb.
For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been a leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES programs include evidence-based content as well as the perspectives of autistic individuals, alongside other resources, ongoing support, and renewal requirements to ensure there is continued learning and a lasting impact.
IBCCES also created certifiedautismcenter.com, as a free online resource for families that lists certified locations and professionals. Each organization listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center (CAC) requirements.
Peoria’s libraries offer an array of services and programs for all members of the community. In addition to print and media collections, the libraries offer Explore-To-Go kits, seed libraries, wi-fi hot spots, and Culture Passes. The libraries also offer a variety of programs for individuals of all ages such as toddler and sensory story times, reading programs, book clubs, tech classes, and several special events for the whole family. For information, visit peoriaaz.gov/library or call 623-773-7556.