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AIM Worship Resources
Worship Resources for Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry (AIM)
Disability & Accessibility

There are many ways to approach creating a worship service on a disability-related theme:

  • A service on the history of disability rights, which might be linked to a celebration of the anniversary of the ADA;
  • A service about disability pride and changing attitudes toward disability (especially if there is a local disability pride celebration);
  • A service about the impact of the fear of disability;
  • A service about how the ways we talk about disability make a difference (could relate this to the national Day of Mourning);
  • A service on a social justice issue related to disability that affects the community;
  • A service about the experience of disability, usually with personal stories (this approach is often chosen, especially when a congregation is doing a disability-themed service for the first time or when the service is lay-led.)
  • Disability Worship Resources on Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Website

Sharing feedback from your congregation’s experiences will help the AIM Program develop the resources we can offer all congregations. Please help us improve our offerings by submitting the AIM Worship Service Feedback Survey.  

Please return the survey to the Program Administrator at aim [at] uua [dot] org (subject: Worship%20Service%20Feedback%20Survey) with a copy of your Order of Service.

On the UUA Website

We offer a collection of worship resources for services focused on accessibility and equal access including an order of service, poems, readings, sermons, and stories for worship services.

Sample Liturgical Components

Possible liturgical components in a worship service focused on disability might include:

Liturgical Component Description
Call to Worship Special welcome to people with disabilities and their families.
Chalice Lighting Traditional words, or words tailored for the service.
A Time for All Ages A story that focuses on people with disabilities.
Readings Focused on disabilities.
Two or More Personal Homilies Separated by Music Each homily will be a person with a disability telling his or her story of living with a disability.  Having respected people from the congregation tell their stories is especially effective.
Minister’s Homily/Sermon Minister focuses on a message about disability and what it means to this congregation and community.
Call to Action What we need to do as members of a Unitarian Universalist (UU) community.  This call to action can be part of the minister’s homily. 
Witness Ask people to raise their hands, or rise in spirit and/or body, if they or someone they love is living with a disability.  This opportunity to witness is the single most effective way to counter stigma, because most of the congregation will self-identify as being personally touched by disability. 
Hymns and Music Chosen to fit the theme of the service.  Bonus:  Have a person sign one or more of the hymns.
Benediction Leave with words of hope.
After the Service Have a panel discussion or an informal question & answer session for people with disabilities to talk with congregation members about what they learned and felt during the worship service.

Resources for Worship

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For more information contact aim@uua.org.