Special Needs Project has great disability books
Jun 12, 2004
Special Needs Project is the place to get books on disabilities. Located in Santa Barbara, California, SNP serves families, professionals and schools nationwide. SNP is a family run business that started in 1989 in Berkeley as an independent bookstore. Special Needs Project is dedicated to making the best information available to those who need it. SNPs unique experience knowledge base makes it particularly indispensible as consultant and source for libraries, schools and agencies wishing to build special collections in fields such as learning disabilities, autism, assistive technology, inclusion and independent living, disability rights and many others.
Through the years I have browsed the Special Needs Project tables at autism conventions and recently made my first online purchase of two disability related books. The website located at www.specialneeds.com/store is laid out in an organized manner with some good options available for visitors. There is the option to email a page to a friend, the quick search offers keywords, authors and titles for easy access of books. There is also a section for disability links that is categorized by subject, but I found some do not work and also this will not open into a new window.
The most popular categories to browse are located at the left column of the home page or you can utilize the drop-down menu for browsing all subjects. Some of these include aging/stroke/Alzheimers, Assistive Technology, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Disability Rights, Down Syndrome, Hearing Impairment, Inclusion, Grief/Death/Separation, Independent Living, LD/ADD, Pregnancy & Birth.
When you first arrive at the home page you have the opportunity of entering your email address for the free book contest. The drawing is held the first of each month and you can enter more than once. Also located at the home page is the book of the week, now in stock and links to editorial page and to build your own catalog - download PDF booklists. I have not tried this since my computer is rather slow and I am on a dial-up connection.
The top ten best sellers are listed in the left column with the quick search and options for keywords, title or author at the top right corner. This is not a case-sensitive search and the words do not have to be in order to obtain your listings. There is a calendar of events on the home page with more information accessed on another page. This offers a description of the event and contact information. All these events are California based.
There is a category for books in Spanish, a page for disability links, the customer service page that is for submitting a status request on your order. Each section or page that you visit has the option at the bottom to send to another person via email. The disability links page has loads of links that are categorized. Any link on the site of Special Needs Project does not open a new window, so you will need to do so if you want to continue shopping or browsing.
Besides books you will also find some fidgets and gadgets, posters, software and videos. I am not sure if each category has these items, but under the autism heading they have a rubber chicken, a timer clock, stickers and a sreening kit. Some books are in binder format or a spiral notebook, and are noted.
Depending on the item you click on there will also be links to other items that customers bought when they placed their order for this specific product. The full page of links under autism is listed alphabetically, specifies if a paperback or hardcover.
Once you place an item in the shopping basket/cart you have the option of browsing through the drop-down menu above, clicking checkout if you are a first time customer or entering your email address and password before hitting the continue button.
The next page is the shopping cart with the option of changing the quantity, deleting the item, as well as clicking to continue after reviewing your entered name and address data. The following page has the breakdown of sales tax and shipping.
For those who reside in California there is sales tax and the shipping rate is 10% of the order with the minimum being $4.50 per order. The payment options are MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express. You can also fax or call in your order and use check or money order.
The autism page is overwhelming with a full page of books to choose from. I am up to date on the new books being issued and always check out amazon.com to compare prices. Just take A bite was not listed on amazon and since Special Needs Project had it listed at $24, which is what Future Horizons had in their catalog I went with ordering the book through SNP.
A member of a yahoo group mentioned the name of a book her husband wrote and I ordered that as well. It turned out to be a very small book and was undetected as such on the Special Needs Project Online Store. I am not sure I would have spent ten dollars for this.
I placed my order on Sunday, March 30th with an immediate email confirmation sent that included the names of both books, total of order ($41.99) and the very long order number. My order was received on Saturday with the invoice showing they processed it on Wednesday and mailed it on Thursday. The box was an appropriate sized white box with no padding included. The invoice listed their federal id number and the specifications for returning items. The site also lists this under the FAQ.
Videos are not returnable and other items are within 30 days as long as they are in salable condition. The amount refunded will not include shipping and will be credited in the form paid. Late charges are 1.5% per month with a minimum of $5.00 per month if no payment has been made in a thirty day period.
The links at top and bottom are just about the same with the exception of the home page only available at the bottom. To track your order would be to click on customer service and submit the data to them.
The site is easy to use and organized, just a lot of books and products related to disabilities. Today I noticed the book is finally listed on amazon.com with a wait of 1-2 months and the price is discounted at $16.97. There is no image or reviews available on this book.
There is a running ticker at the bottom of the page displaying books on sale and newly arrived items. I have seen one passing by that is about IEP's, a timely book for those who are planning their meetings at this time of year.
I was pleased with my order from Special Needs Project, receiving my books in under a week. The shipping fee was comparable to other sites and they have all the latest on the subject of autism and other disabilities.