Special Needs Library celebrates '40 Fabulous Years'

27 February 2017

Local families marked a major milestone for the City’s Special Needs Library at Nerang on the weekend.

 Mayor Tom Tate said celebrating forty years was a fabulous way to remember the impact the library has on people’s lives.

 “This service is vitally important for our community because it helps those with permanent or temporary disabilities access the learning, developmental and rehabilitation resources they need,” Mayor Tate said.

 “This library, along with the adaptive equipment at our other libraries helps to ensure the Gold Coast is a city where everyone is included.  

 “More than 20 per cent of our city’s population will be over 65 by 2031 and we don’t want a single one of them to feel they’ve been left behind.

 “That’s why our Accessible and Inclusive City Action Plan and services like this are so important.”

 Since its humble beginnings at Southport with just 270 toys and games, the Special Needs Library now has more than 2,500 resources including an extensive range of specialised therapeutic equipment and technology to help with fine and gross motor skills, social and cognitive skills, and language and speech development.

 “Whether it’s about mobility or vision issues from an accident or ageing, young adults with learning difficulties needing help with research or children with special needs, we want everyone to know that we have these services here to help,” Cr Tate said.

 Speech pathologist and mother of two, Sarah Owen refers clients to the library and also uses it for her own boys who are on the autism spectrum.

 “Parents of children with special needs hear about all these amazing new resources, but not everything works the same for every child, so it’s fantastic for them to be able to borrow things and try them out,” she said.

 Now with nearly 1500 members, the free service, which also hosts workshops and special events, continues to expand to meet demand and is open six days a week.

The library invited past and present members, parents and volunteers to an official celebration at 2pm on Saturday, which included story-telling by award-winning actor, Tom Mullooly, interactive robots, badge making and activity stations, and of course, birthday cake.

 All Gold Coast residents are eligible to join the Special Needs Library upon referral from an allied health professional or teacher. For information visit: cityofgoldcoast.com.au/libraries

Special Needs Library celebrates '40 Fabulous Years' photo