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Participants (Resistance and Transformation)

This program is for adults and older youth who want to learn more about the history of Unitarian Universalism, have an interest in social justice, and want to deepen their understanding of Unitarian Universalist identity.

Workshops can accommodate any number of participants, with six participants an ideal minimum. Workshops of fewer than six participants may do small group activities in the full group, or choose to do only a portion of those activities. The suggested maximum number of participants is 25; you will need at least three facilitators to accommodate a large group.

INTEGRATING ALL PARTICIPANTS

People with obvious and not-so-obvious disabilities need accommodation in order to participate fully. As a presenter, you may or may not be aware of a participant's need for accommodations. In addition to accommodating the accessibility needs of participants who request them, you are urged to follow these Accessibility Guidelines for Workshop Presenters for every activity.

  • Prepare a few large print copies of all handouts.
  • Write clearly and use large letters on newsprint. Use black or brown markers for maximum visibility (red and green are difficult for some to see).
  • Make a printed copy of information you plan to post on newsprint, to give to any who request it.
  • Face the group when you are speaking and urge others to do the same. Be aware of facial hair or hand gestures that may prevent or interfere with lip reading.
  • In a large space or with a large group of people, use a microphone for presentations and for questions and answers. If a particular activity will likely make it difficult for speakers to face those who are listening (e.g., a fishbowl, forced choice, or role play activity), obtain a portable microphone to pass from speaker to speaker.
  • In a brainstorm activity, repeat clearly any word or phrase generated by the group in addition to writing it on newsprint.
  • During small group work, position each group far enough from other groups to minimize noise interference.
  • Keep aisles and doorways clear at all times during a workshop so people with mobility impairments or immediate needs can exit the room easily.
  • Offer a variety of seating options, such as straight chairs, soft chairs, chairs with arms, and chairs without arms, so participants can find seating that best accommodates their needs.
  • When re-arranging furniture for small groups or other purposes, ensure clear pathways.
  • Enlist workshop participants in being vigilant about removing bags, books, coffee cups, and other obstacles from pathways.
  • Use the phrase "Rise in body or spirit" rather than "Please stand."
  • Use language that puts the person first, rather than the disability—for example, "a person who uses a wheelchair," rather than "a wheelchair-user"; "a child with dyslexia," rather than "a dyslexic child; "people with disabilities" rather than "the disabled."
  • Do not put individuals on the spot to read aloud. Avoid read-alouds that require everyone in the group to automatically take a turn. Request volunteers, or read the material yourself.
  • Ask in advance about participants' food allergies. Add to your group covenant an agreement to avoid bringing problem foods for snacks or to always offer an alternate snack food.
  • Ask in advance about allergies to scents or perfumes. If participants have allergies or sensitivities, invite members of the group to refrain from wearing perfumes and add this agreement to your covenant.

The Unitarian Universalist Association website and staff can offer guidance for including people with specific disabilities; consult the Accessibility section of the Leaders' Library on the UUA website. In addition, some workshop activities suggest specific adaptation under the heading "Including All Participants."

Participants bring a wide range of learning styles and information processing preferences. With this in mind, the workshops offer a variety of activities. Review each workshop's Alternate Activities. Plan each workshop to best suit the group.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.

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