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Special Educational Needs and Disability

West Sussex Disability Register (0-25) West Sussex Disability Register (0-25)



From 1 April 2022, the library service will run the West Sussex Disability Register for young people under 25 who have special educational needs and disabilities.


If you were a Compass Card holder previously, you will have received an invitation from Amaze to confirm that you would like your details transferred to the library service register. If you did not previously have a Compass Card but are interested in signing up to the new register, please visit our website to complete an application.


Everyone who previously held a Compass Card and agreed for their data to be transferred and new members can visit their local library to collect a MAX Card which gives discounts on national attractions. 


If you have any questions or need help to complete your application, please get in touch with us


The West Sussex Local Offer helps you find information about local services, support and events for children and young people aged 0 - 25 years who have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

BagBooks are a charity that promote vivid sensory stories particularly suited to children with additional needs.




Bookstart  is part of Booktrust and is dedicated to under-fives, their families and carers. Bookshine, Booktouch and Bookstart Star packs are available for children with addtional needs

Access2Books is a charity whose mission it is to ensure that everyone has access to books regardless of reading ability or visual capacity.


They take the most popular children’s books in the UK and turn them into accessible books for people who have print disabilities.

Barrington Stoke specialises in publishing children’s books that break down the barriers stopping children getting into reading, especially children with accessibility features including those with dyslexia or visual stress.


The Guide Dogs association is offering free iPads to be used outside of school for all visually impaired children aged 3-18. This is for a “limited time” and whilst stocks last.


The RNIB offer access to books, newspapers and magazines in the format you prefer, whether that’s braille, audio, large print or digital.

Living Paintings logo


Living Paintings is a free talking book library for blind and partially sighted children and adults. 


Their special Touch to See books are designed to bring the visual world to life through tactile images and audio descriptions.

Resources For Children And Young People With Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Resources For Children And Young People With Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

The library has much more than traditional books to help share stories with everyone – no matter what their needs.


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 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.



Click here to find out more

Books To Support Deaf Or Hearing Impaired Children 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.



Click here to find out more

Multi-Sensory Stories 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.



Click here to find out more

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

Understand me - the communication library Understand me - the communication library

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).

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.

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