Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club to provide Accessibility Kits to library

Downers Grove Junior Woman's Club (DGJWC) Members Kristen Avery and Lindsay Garrity present their donation to DGPL Board President Swapna Gigani, Director Julie Milavec, and Children’s Services Manager Allyson Renell.

The Downers Grove Public Library will introduce Accessibility Kits to its Anything Emporium in the near future, with funding for the $5,000 project provided by the Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club, a local volunteer organization.

“We are very thankful to the DGJWC for funding this exciting new project,” Allyson Renell, manager of children’s services at the Downers Grove Public Library, said in a news release. “This generous donation allows the library to continue in our mission to make the library a place for everyone to discover, grow, play and learn, no matter their abilities.”

The new Accessibility Kits will feature a variety of tools, controllers, games and activities that are helpful to patrons who have a disability or different needs. Items for both therapeutic and recreational use will be curated based on suggestions and advice from local partners and experts. Some examples include items that work on motor skills, adaptive gaming controllers and sensory processing tools such as weighted vests and sensory pods.

The idea for introducing Accessibility Kits grew from the need to be able to try before you buy. Not all accessibility tools or items may be a fit for people with diverse abilities. With the addition of Accessibility Kits, patrons can try something new at home or in the library before making a purchase. Costly items will be accessible to try via checkout.

Accessibility Kits will be offered to patrons to experience in the library or to check out for use at home as each item becomes available. If one has a suggestion for an item or accessibility/sensory processing tool for the library to consider adding to the program, email

The club’s donation to the library is the latest community contribution in a year of unprecedented giving for the organization, according to the release.

DGJWC has donated more than $70,000 to the community since September.

“Our club is thrilled to support this inclusive initiative by the library,” Kristen Avery, philanthropy chair for DGJWC, said in the release. “Knowing what a great need there is for these types of items, we are so proud to help the library kick-start this unique offering.”

Accessibility Kits will be the latest addition to the Downers Grove Public Library’s Anything Emporium. This collection of unusual items allows guests to try out new technology, find the right tool for the job, and be entertained. The Anything Emporium includes materials for all ages, including STEM kits, VHS to DVD converters, DSLR and GoPro cameras, laptop kits, night vision binoculars and other items.

Logo for Downers Grove Junior Woman's Club 2023
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