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SEA Currents August 24th, 2019
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Adaptive Training in the Library

Posted by on July 25th, 2019 Posted in: All of Us


Written By: April Wright, All of Us Community Engagement Coordinator, NNLM SEA

Durham County Library offers adaptive training programs for amputees and anyone who has limited mobility. The program has been well-received and had a positive impact on its community. Stephanie Fennel, Branch Manager at the Durham County North Regional Library brought this program to the library to address not only the practical needs of an underserved population, but also to address health and economic disparities. Here is what she says about it:

What is adaptive training?

Adaptive training is training that is tailored to meet the needs of those who may have challenges, disabilities, or limitations. This can include people who may be autistic, have suffered a stroke, or an amputation. It is a long term, ongoing process. It allows you to be able to participate in a physical activity on the level that works best for you.

How are you able to offer this program?

We work with a certified trainer to offer the program made possible with funding from the All of Us Community Engagement Award.

Who is your target audience?

The class is open to anyone who would like to attend, but I specifically went to an amputees support group and invited them to the program. People who are amputees and who use prosthetics attend the program. We also have seniors and those who have limited mobility.

Can you share any comments from participants and from library staff?

When I tell people about the program, they think it is a great idea and library staff are really excited about it. The program has brought an awareness to us that there is a real need for more library programming like this.

Our goal is to serve all members of our community. This is a group of people in our community that is being underserved. With limited options to being active, this class not only allows the participants to grow stronger physically but mentally as well.

One participant who made great progress over a six-week period, told me that this was a great thing the library offers and he wishes that is was available in more areas. He enjoys coming to class and being able to get out and socialize.  It makes him feel better and uplifts his spirit.

We plan to expand with similar classes across the Durham County Library system by offering not only the strength training, but adaptive jogging, and adaptive yoga.

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