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Ability Guidebooks are step-by-step books to help people with autism visit places in their home city.

Ability Guidebooks

For many people with autism there is anxiety when they have to go somewhere new. An Ability Guidebook shows them what to expect and teachers the steps to be successful. A typical book is "I Am Going To Senate Square!"

I began making Ability Guidebooks for my own students in Portland, Oregon. Now they are helping students in 36 countries!


Part of my program in Portland was to take my students with autism out into the community on a daily basis. Some of them had terrible anxiety about new places so I began to make books about our outings.  I would go to the destination the week before, take pictures and write a picture book about how to visit.

It was incredibly successful and a few years later when I was named Oregon Teacher of the Year and an National Education Association Foundation Global Fellow I was able to make more books as I traveled as part of those awards. 

There are now books for 36 countries and on every continent but Antarctica! I am always looking for people to help translate books! There are currently books in English, Italian, French, Spanish, Greek and German with a book for Latvia on its way! There are several books for Helsinki. It would be great to find a classroom or teacher who could translate a book!

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Intended Outcomes
1 - 18
Age Group
Resources Needed
Ability Guidebooks can become a valuable support to help people with autism access their communities. They are often used by general education elementary school classes for field trips as well.

See this innovation in action.


Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

An Ability Guidebook on how to make an Ability Guidebook!
This pdf shows the steps for making Ability Guidebooks for your own community!
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