Participants (Faith like a River)
This program is intended for adults. It can be adapted for youth or for a multigenerational program that includes youth and adults. The workshops are equally suitable for first-time visitors and long-time congregational members. Facilitators should be attentive to the differences in knowledge and life experience participants bring to the group, particularly if the group includes a wide age span.
Workshops can accommodate any number of participants. Workshops of fewer than six participants can do small group activities in the full group, or skip some small group activities. If the group has more than twenty-five participants, you will need at least three facilitators.
Integrating All Participants
People with obvious and not-so-obvious disabilities may need accommodation in order to participate fully. In addition to accommodating the accessibility needs of participants who request them, you are urged to follow these basic Accessibility Guidelines for Workshop Presenters:
- 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 microphone you can 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.
- If the group will listen to significant amounts of material read aloud, be ready to provide printed copies to any hearing impaired participants so they can read along.
- 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—for example, straight chairs, soft chairs, chairs with arms, and chairs without arms—so participants can find seating that best suits their needs.
- When re-arranging furniture for small groups or other purposes, ensure clear pathways between groups.
- Enlist participants' vigilance in 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 ask individuals to read aloud. Request volunteers or read the material yourself. When possible, ask for volunteers before the workshop and give each volunteer a copy of the material they will read.
- Ask participants in advance about any food allergies. Add to your group covenant an agreement to avoid bringing problem foods or to always offer an alternate snack.
- Ask participants in advance about any 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 "Top Picks for Accessibility" page in the Leaders' Library on the UUA website.
Participants bring a wide range of learning styles and 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.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.
- Resistance and Transformation
- Faith like a River
- About the Authors
- Workshop 1
- Workshop 2
- Workshop 3
- Workshop 4
- Workshop 5
- Workshop 6
- Workshop 7
- Workshop 8
- Workshop 9
- Workshop 10
- Workshop 11
- Workshop 12
- Workshop 13
- Workshop 14
- Workshop 15
- Workshop 16
- List of Stories
- List of Handouts
- List of Leader Resources
- Building the World We Dream About
- The New UU
- Moves Us
- Harvest the Power
- Principled Commitment
- Spirit of Life Revised
- Spirit in Practice
- From The High Hill