Miami-Dade Public Library System recognized as Outstanding Community Partner by University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities
The Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS) is honored to have been named an Outstanding Community Partner by the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD) during their 17th annual Community Awards Luncheon on September 1st in Coral Gables. The awards recognize community organizations and individuals for their outstanding service, advocacy and philanthropic support of South Florida’s autism community.
“Congratulations to our Miami-Dade Public Library System for being recognized for its important work making our community more inclusive for all residents,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “One of the key priorities of my administration is making our county more equitable and inclusive, and I’m proud that our public libraries are at the forefront of building a more welcoming community for people of all abilities.”
The Miami-Dade Public Library System was recognized for the transformative work it has done in making its library locations autism friendly, as part of a Countywide Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Neurodiverse Inclusion Program developed in collaboration with UM-NSU CARD, as part of a resolution sponsored by Miami-Dade County Commissioner Raquel Regalado. Through the program, MDPLS has created social narratives – stories that help people better understand what to expect when visiting a library – for each of its 50 library locations along with sensory friendly spaces and programs. Additionally, over 700 library employees have completed ASD and Strategies for Inclusivity training by UM-NSU CARD, which aims to create a deeper awareness of the needs of the autism and neurodiverse community.
“We are pleased and honored to have been named an Outstanding Community Partner by UM-NSU CARD,” said Library Director Ray Baker. “It was one year ago that they designated us an Autism Friendly Partner, so it’s a great recognition of Miami-Dade County’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of neurodiverse individuals and those with autism spectrum disorder.”
“The UM-NSU CARD Community Awards were created in 2005 to recognize community leaders and partners who go the extra mile for our constituents,” said UM-NSU CARD Executive Director Dr. Michael Alessandri. “The Miami-Dade Public Library System is a great example of an organization that is providing a welcoming, compassionate and inclusive environment for individuals with ASD and related disabilities. We’re grateful for all that they do and are proud to call them our partner.”
Editor’s Note: Photos available upon request.
About the Miami-Dade Public Library System
The mission of the Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS) is to provide extraordinary services, spaces, and experiences that promote literacy and learning, personal growth, and limitless opportunities. MDPLS is recognized as an Autism Friendly Partner by the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. MDPLS was named a finalist for the prestigious 2022 IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service and has been honored with several awards, including an Urban Libraries Council 2020 Innovation Award, 87 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards over the past six years, and four Florida Library Association (FLA) Awards for Excellence and Innovation from 2018 – 2020. Learn more at www.mdpls.org.
About the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD)
The mission of the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities is to optimize the potential for people living with autism and related disabilities. UM-NSU CARD currently serves Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe Counties. Learn more at www.card.miami.edu.