Real people on loan to readers in Hamilton for autistic first
Hamilton is hosting what is believed to be a New Zealand first Autistic Human Library next week.
The event on World Autism Awareness Day Tuesday 2 April is different from most other events taking place around the country as it is autistic-led and focuses on autistic voices.
The project is the brainchild of autistic advocate and Altogether Autism autistic advisor Paula Jessop.
It provides an opportunity to increase not just awareness but also acceptance and appreciation for people with autism, said Altogether Autism national manager Catherine Trezona.
The event has the support of Hamilton City Libraries. Director Rebecca Whitehead said libraries across the world are changing and offering a wider range of services and products.
“The Human Library project reflects our changing service and also on our aim to embrace diversity and inclusiveness in what we do.”
Altogether Autism is a free, nationwide autism spectrum information and advisory service provided as a partnership between Hamilton-based Life Unlimited Charitable Trust and Parent to Parent New Zealand.
“With the vast amount of information available online, finding credible information on autism is a challenge,” said Ms Trezona.
“We believe our Autistic Human Library is a first for New Zealand and offers members of the public the chance to visit Chartwell Library and chat with autistic adults about their experiences of autism.
“Our Human Library is an event that aims to create dialogue and understanding between people. The autistic volunteers are real people on loan to you the ‘reader’ for a one on one conversation about your experiences with autism,” she said.
The event is free, starts at 2pm and finishes at 4.30pm. There is no need to register, there is free parking on site and easy access to public transport.