(WMBD) ― A trip to the Bloomington Public Library is now suited for all people, no matter their ability.

The library partnered with KultureCity to make library programs and events sensory-inclusive.

KultureCity is a leading non-profit organization recognized nationwide for using its resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs, not just those with autism.

Library Children’s Services Manager Melissa Robinson said it has been a gradual endeavor.

“We have had libraries for a long, long time and wanted to be as accessible to everyone as possible,” Robinson said.

She said the certification process better helped library staff to assist with sensory sensitivities.

“It involved training for staff, and then they also provided us with signage so that we can see suggest to people areas that might be a little busier and a little noisier and then areas that would be more quiet,” Robinson said.

The library now offers sensory bags, equipped with noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads are available to any library patron who may feel overwhelmed by the environment.

According to KultureCity, one-in-six individuals have a sensory need or an invisible disability. The organization states these are often individuals with autism, dementia, PTSD, and other conditions.

“Our communities shape our lives, and to know that Bloomington Public Library is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone ― no matter their ability ― is included in their community is amazing. We’re honored to partner with Bloomington Public Library to provide a truly inclusive experience for all patrons,” said Uma Srivastava, KultureCity executive director.

Prior to visiting the library, families can download the free KultureCity App and view the sensory features
available at the library and where the features can be accessed. The app also provides access to the library’s social story, which will provide a preview of what one can expect during a library visit.

The Miller Park Zoo also partners with KultureCity.