Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

The library has much more than traditional books to help share stories with everyone – no matter what their needs. Our range of resources includes multi-sensory stories, communication devices, giant print & braille books, tactile books, books with signing and stories on CD/MP3. Also find out about the West Sussex Disability Register for young people under 25 who have special educational needs and disabilities.

Our range of resources include multi-sensory stories, giant print and braille books, tactile books, books with signing and stories on CD. Larger libraries also offer ‘Playaway’ audiobooks – these MP3 players are pre-loaded with stories for children & young people.  They are free to borrow, all you need is a battery and some earphones.


Giant Print and Braille Books

These dual format books- giant print (75pt) & Braille - with illustrations, are published by access2books.  The design of these books enables Braille or large print readers to read without obscuring the text or illustrations and therefore gives children and adults the opportunity to read together.


Books to Support Deaf Or Hearing Impaired Children

A selection of books and other resources for younger deaf or hearing impaired children, including tactile books, books with signing and multi-sensory stories.

In addition to these resources available for loan from the library, families with hearing impaired children under five can receive a free Bookstart Shine pack, which includes free books and a guide for sharing stories with deaf children.


Multi-Sensory Stories

Also known as Bag Books, they are sensory stories suited to children with profound and multiple learning disabilities or visual impairment.


Boxes contain a script and a series of interactive ‘pages’ for children and young people to share with a parent, carer or sibling.


Anyone can borrow a story box from the library – individuals, groups or schools – ask for a list of titles which also gives guidance on age ranges.


If your local library does not stock any Bag Books they can borrow them for you from a larger library. Read a list of available Bag Books.


Top Tips for sharing multi-sensory stories

• Stories are suitable for sharing one to one or with small groups
• Check the props before you begin – some need preparation, such as a water spray or might need practice, such as a whistle!
• Stick to the script – repetition of the words, phrases and actions is valuable
• Begin with a short story (which tend to be for younger children) and a small group and expand as your confidence grows


This video shows staff from Bag Books using a sensory story in the library and comments from staff about the stories.

Demonstration of using sensory stories from Bag Books.


Understand Me


If you have communication difficulties, find out how you can request resources that can help.


Anyone who needs help with communication can borrow a range of resources, for free, from any West Sussex library – all you need is a library card.


Communication can be difficult for some people, particularly those with disabilities. Many resources are available to support effective communication, including simple flashcards and devices for recording personal messages, as well as specially adapted toys to support young children learning through play. Some of these resources support people who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC).

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