All "etiquette" that pertains to adults also pertains to children with disabilities, and to their family members if they have disabilities.
Remember that if you make your religious education areas accessible, it opens the door for adults with disabilities to be RE teachers, and enables parents with disabilities to visit their children's RE classes.
Adapt activities so that all children can participate—have activities accessible so that children can be part of everything and not have to be observers for some RE activities.
Outdoor play areas should be accessible too. There is a lot of information on the internet about designing and building playgrounds that are accessible.
If you put your creative minds to work, you can come up with innovative ways to modify art corners, costumes, and craft materials. Look in your congregation for people who are occupational therapists or special education teachers who can be your expert advisors.
Large-print materials and taped books are as useful for children as they are for adults with vision limitations.
In some of our congregations, use of a qualified sign-language interpreter has been used successfully in RE classes.
Personal amplifiers such as the Williams Pocketalker may help a child who is hard of hearing. Children's educational programs may be able to provide the needed assistive technology.
Some congregations are doing a lot to include children with disabilities in their RE programs—read the UU World 2005 article "Welcoming children with special needs" for ideas.
For more information contact access @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.
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