AIM RE Teacher Orientation
Education about abilities and disabilities needs to be provided both to the people creating the Religious Education (RE) program—the Directors of RE and RE teachers—and to the children. All children, not only those who have disabilities, need to be educated about disability. The lessons need to impart some education about what disabilities are, and our Unitarian Universalist religious perspective on how we treat those with disabilities. There needs to be a commitment that the entire community provides for the emotional and spiritual development of all children.
Welcoming All Children and Youth
Sally Patton, a Unitarian Universalist who advocated and worked on behalf of children labeled as disabled for last 35 years of her life, created excellent workshops for training religious educators and congregations on how to welcome children and youth with special needs labels into a congregation. Through her organization, Embrace the Spirit of the Child, she offered these workshops that are specifically designed for faith communities. They have been used and highly recommended by many Unitarian Universalist congregations.
As a way to make her training live on, she has wrote a special congregational study guide that is being distributed along with this Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry (AIM) Program. Based on Sally’s book, Welcoming Children with Special Needs: A Guidebook for Faith Communities (PDF) (published by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) in 2002), this new guide is titled, Involve Training Materials and Activities: A Guide for Teacher Training (PDF).