Role-Based Tips for Inclusive Congregations

No matter what part you play in your congregation, you can help to widen the welcome in your congregation for persons at all abilities. To get started, look up the role you play in creating a worship experience. Consider how the suggestions for each role might benefit everyone in your community—regardless of their ability, age, or life stage.This list is not intended to be exhaustive; we hope it helps you brainstorm additional ideas that are personalized to your congregation and setting.

You can download a PDF of this entire list, along with  other documents from our library, by completing this form. 

Announcement Communicator / Presenter (both verbal and printed)

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Highlight available accessibility services, items, and options (e.g. accessible bathrooms, valet parking, elevator, gluten-free options, location of fidget tools, website location for visuals, etc.).
  2. Communicate options, such as the fragrance free zone, gluten-free options, or where to find praise streamers.
  3. Have announcements/bulletin available in various forms for easy accessibility (e.g. digital, print, on PowerPoint screen, picture option, etc.). Large print copies should be available for attendees who have visual impairments.
  4. Work with the presentation creator to ensure that PowerPoint images include persons with disabilities.
  5. Use a microphone connected to the a hearing loop system.

Practical Tools:

Assistant / Buddy (paired with persons with disabilities)

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Arrange for specific requests (e.g. sign language interpreter or transportation).
  2. Collect supports in a timely fashion (e.g. get sermon notes or PowerPoint and distribute digitally ahead of time).
  3. Connect with ministry heads to determine what support is needed and make it happen.
  4. Modify curriculum in the children’s ministry when needed.
  5. Provide necessary support for children or adults during church activities.

Caregiver

Universal and Responsive Design

  1. Be willing to share and receive help for your own needs, as well as the needs of the person for whom you care. Be understanding about how much others can step in to do
  2. Consider a Wrap-Around Support Team for you and the person for whom you care to develop intentional, supportive community.
  3. Share information about the gifts of the person for whom you care, so they are meaningfully serving God within community.
  4. Get involved in service and fellowship opportunities in the church community (outside of your caregiver role). For example, use a respite day to join the women’s ministry at a spa, service, or crafting day. Spend time developing your own gifts and talents.

Practical Tools:

Children's Message Provider / Teacher

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Know the “big idea” in your message and use multisensory ways to emphasize it in your message (e.g. object in special container, music and songs, catchy saying, movement, pictures or video).
  2. Provide multiple ways for all children to interact with the message (e.g. speech button, communication stick with pictures, thumbs up and thumbs down, Scripture reader, etc.).
  3. Provide opportunities for movement as well as structured seating options (e.g. sitting or standing, fidget tools, small rocker, carpet squares, paired planned movement with the message, etc.).
  4. Be familiar with the children of your church community and provide any support that is needed for all children to participate (e.g. wheelchair accessibility, sound blockers, large print Bible, etc.).
  5. Invite a child who may be anxious or need extra practice the option to visit the space or sanctuary when it’s empty. This could involve arriving early or visiting the space the day before. Practice your children’s message with that child and their parent and allow the child to practice where to sit, how to participate, and when to ask questions. Give the child the option of “reserving a seat” with a name card.

Practical Tools

  • Use Friendship Ministry’s guide for adapting lessons to the needs of your group.
  • The Inclusive Worship Kit includes a sample visual schedule you can use in a children’s ministry setting.
  • Inclusion Awareness Kit contains a lesson plan and the needed supplies to allow children and adults to see each individual as an important and gifted piece of “God’s body puzzle”.  The lesson plan lets you target any age group and offers an appealing final display.  The plan also suggests ways in which you can allow group members to better understand the gifts and needs of an individual with a disability.
  • Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities by Barbara J. Newman supplies tools for teachers, peers, and parents of peers by giving basic information for educators concerning specific disabilities, lesson plans for teaching peers about those areas of disability, and sample letters that can be adapted to send home to parents of peers.
  • Every Child Welcome by Katie Wetherbee and Jolene Philo, walks through the steps of creating a welcoming children’s ministry for children with disabilities, and includes practical tools, resources, links and ideas.
  • Utilize this reference sheet on person-first language.
  • Access many accommodation tips for persons with hearing, vision, intellectual, speaking, movement, sensory processing, social skills, reading, and writing differences on Friendship Ministries’ website.  

Clerical Support

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Consider adding pictures to the Order of Worship (see our samples for examples), and/or have an interactive bulletin for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
  2. Provide printed or digital copies of the sermon and other materials, including large print, digital, and Braille options.
  3. Your church’s accessibility options should be described on the church voicemail and website.
  4. Good universal design practices will make specific requests rare. However, when you do receive a request for a specialized need (e.g. equipment, sign language interpreter, etc.), respond within a day. Let the individual or caregiver know the length of time until the need will be met, what the process is, who else they will connect with, etc.
  5. Connect individual’s gifts and needs with the appropriate resources or ministry. Use intake and attendance forms to learn of an individual’s areas of interest and needs, and pass those on to the appropriate personnel.
  6. When appropriate, provide a preview of the church setting and activities with a Church Welcome Story for children and/or adults with specialized needs.

Practical Tools

Congregation Member

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Work to make your church the most welcoming group of people in your community. Make a practice of welcoming others, especially people who make you feel uncomfortable and/or people who may not find a warm welcome elsewhere.
  2. Learn disability etiquette and person-first language.
  3. Volunteer to befriend and support individuals with disabilities or unique needs in your church.
  4. Become informed about various disabilities.
  5. Encourage the gifts of all persons to be included in the church community.

Practical Tools

Dance Team Leader/Member

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Incorporate persons with disabilities into a dance by first asking the question, “How CAN this person participate? What movements CAN this person do?”
  2. Use items like flags, streamers, shakers, or banners for every individual to express their worship.
  3. Use music connected into a hearing loop system.
  4. If words accompany the music, be sure they are presented visually (e.g. PowerPoint, sign language, etc.) for those who cannot hear them.
  5. Think about those who may have difficulty viewing the dance (due to vision differences), and how to relate the message of the dance to that individual.

Practical Tools

Disability or Inclusion Advocate / Coordinator

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Identify and recommend changes to overcome barriers for inclusive community.
  2. Coordinate information, training, and other resources to equip your community to include people of all abilities. Your role is to resource existing ministry leaders to include persons with disabilities within their ministries, not house a separate program.
  3. Advocate for those in your church who have disabilities (e.g., ask for accommodations so the individual or family does not have to do it themselves).
  4. Identify and connect with individuals/families impacted by disability to gather information and provide the right support.
  5. Equip and support church staff and volunteers; share your appreciation regularly.
  6. Learn more about and share CLC Network’s “Puzzle Piece” lens, theology of inclusion, and the “See/Think/Do”
    process.

Practical Tools

Facility / Maintenance Crew Member

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Post clear signs that direct people to accessible entrances, services, and other options.
  2. Conduct an Accessibility Audit, such as umdisabilityministries.org/access/audit.html.
  3. Work toward your entire church campus being barrier free.
  4. Assure that there is adequate lighting in all of the church’s common areas (for signing and individuals with low vision). Make sure sign language interpreters and individuals who are speaking or reading are not in the shadows.
  5. Maintain all railings, steps, ramps, doors, seats, etc. so that all remain safe and sturdy.
  6. Ask families and individuals what needs they have. Be sensitive and willing to accommodate.

Practical Tools

Financial Team Leader or Member

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Get to know the individuals with disabilities and their families. Ask about their gifts, along with the needs they need met in order to be part of the church family.
  2. Budget for universal design of the physical environment and communications. This might include budgeting for building changes, special foods, special equipment, transportation assistance, additional staff, etc.
  3. When appropriate, raise funds for needs of a family or members of the congregation with a disability, or for special equipment or items for the church.
  4. Provide an avenue for folks involved in various ministries to share what items are needed for full inclusion.
  5.  Since universal design for worship benefits your entire congregation, consider costs associated with accessibility and inclusivity as an on-going budget item for your congregation.

Practical Tools

  • Grants are available through various organizations to support inclusion and universal design:
    •  The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship offers Vital Worship Grants focused on projects that connect public worship to intergenerational faith formation and Christian discipleship. If your need fits within this theme, consider applying for a Vital Worship Grant at worship.calvin.edu.
    •  Through the Open Hearts Awards, Pathways.org provides grants up to $1,000 to recognize houses of faith and religious schools across the U.S. for their efforts to welcome individuals of all abilities and help fund access and inclusion projects. Learn more at inclusioninworship.org.
    • Joni and Friends’ Christian Fund for the Disabled provides one-time grants to qualifying individuals in cooperation with (i.e., endorsement by) churches or Christian organizations. Requests must reflect a disability-related need.
    • Depending on your denomination, some funds may be available through your governing structure.
  • For financial planning purposes, keep in mind that gluten-free products are, on average, 242% more expensive than regular products.*
  • Find frequently asked questions and pricing on hearing loops: healthyhearing.com/content/articles/Technology/T-coils/45927-Hearing-aids-in-loop
  • In some cases, further costs for your congregation may need to be considered based on your situation (e.g. insurance due to equipment, building maintenance or materials to increase accessibility, etc.)

*Source: Stevens L, Rashid M. Gluten-free and regular foods: a cost comparison. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and research: a publication of Dietitians of Canada. 2008 Fall; 69(3):147-50. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18783640. (Accessed 13 July 2016).

Hospitality Crew Leader or Member

This includes individuals who serve refreshments, provide transportation or meals, and more.

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Invite persons with disabilities who have the gift of friendliness to be a greeter (or a similar position).
  2. Train greeters and others to be welcoming and understanding of persons who may miss social cues or respond differently.
  3. Offer to transport individuals with physical or mobility limitations to congregational functions (this may involve a little research into transportation options).
  4. Present dietary need-based options with equal ease of access and proper identification. Alternatively, when putting out refreshments, communicate if it contains common allergens (such as sugar, wheat/gluten, corn, soy, dairy, or nuts).
  5. Know the tools and services available to those with varying abilities as well as persons to connect them with.

Practical Tools

  • Post gluten free or sugar free signs at refreshments.
  • See the G.L.U.E. Training Manual by Barbara J. Newman and Kim Luurtsema for further ideas, needs, and plans for including individuals.

Information / Welcome / Registration Staff

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Permit service animals or guide dogs throughout the church campus and at church events.
  2. Use intake forms, greeters, and other means to identify an individual’s needs.
  3. Know where large print Bibles, sensory tools, and the sign language interpreter are located.
  4. With the information you gathered on an intake form or conversation, direct the individual to the proper resources.
  5. Use person-first language!
  6. Receive training on disabilities and how to be welcoming to people with disabilities and their families.

Practical Tools

Library / Bookstore Supplier

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Stock books about disability theology, specific disabilities, and inclusion.
  2. Have books in braille, digitial, and large print.
  3. Provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to work in the library (based on their abilities). Make accommodations if necessary. A person with a disability can be a great resource to others in the church!
  4. Communicate the resources on disability that are available in your library or bookstore.
  5. Be prepared to suggest links to online book options for those unable to access print materials.

Practical Tool

  • Consider carrying books, DVDs, and resources from CLC Network (call us at 616-245-8388 for special pricing): clcnetwork.org/shop 
  • Consider purchasing copies of the Inclusion Handbook for study groups and to make available in your church library: faithaliveresources.org

Lord's Supper Server

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Have a gluten-free option available and communicate its placement.
  2. Make sure there is a non-alcoholic option.
  3. Make sure the method you use for distributing the elements will connect with each person who wishes to partake. For example, a person with Cerebral Palsy may need someone to make the bread very soggy and place it in a specific spot in their mouth. You must know the individuals in your congregation and/or offer alternatives.
  4. Make the Communion delivery method physically accessible to each participant. Are there stairs involved? Is Communion passed in the pew? Will someone present Communion to those unable to get up or reach for it?
  5. Clearly communicate (through spoken and written words, and visuals) how your church distributes and takes the Lord’s Supper.

Practical Tools

  • Customize the Communion Story to help individuals understand the significance of taking the Lord’s Supper. Find a sample here: clcnetwork.org/for-churches/communion-story/
  • There is a written version of the social story for “Celebrating Communion at Faith Church” in Barbara J. Newman’s book Autism and Your Church (see pg. 115).

Ministry Director

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Share the vision for welcoming all individuals into the church body and ministries of your church.
  2. Provide training in accessibility awareness and etiquette to all leadership.
  3. Include people with disabilities in committees and/or other leadership roles based on their gifts.
  4. Have a Disability or Inclusion Advocate/Team.
  5. Adopt a policy on disability.
  6. Hold an annual Disability/Inclusion Awareness Sunday, or other training for the congregation.
  7. Encourage people of all ability levels to engage in the various ministries and activities in the congregation.

Practical Tools

Person with a Disability

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Be flexible, creative and patient with your congregation.
  2. Consider telling your story. Some individuals would benefit from hearing about your areas of gifting as well as the things that are difficult, especially in a church setting.
  3. Consider coming up with three helpful things your church community could do or has done that would widen the welcome for an individual with varied abilities.

PowerPoint / Presentation Creator

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Videos and other media should be clearly captioned.
  2. Words on screens should not be crowded. Include no more than 12 words on a screen and make sure the text is large enough to easily read (we suggest a minimum font size of 36).
  3. If you use a backgrounds on a slide with words, do not add effects or distracting images.
  4. Use contrast to make words clearer. For example, a blue background with yellow text is easier to read than black text on white screen.
  5. PowerPoints and similar presentations should be available ahead of time for individuals to download onto personal devices, especially if other visual accommodations are more difficult.

Practical Tools

Prayer Team Member

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Provide ways for all members to participate in prayer (e.g. pictures, signs or gestures, or communication device).
  2. Some individuals may need instruction in prayer. For example, instead of just speaking the Lord’s Prayer, give a context for those words or write a small explanation.
  3. Develop relationships with the congregation and provide multiple ways for members to communicate prayer needs (e.g. email, phone call, anonymously, written, etc.).
  4. If you are praying one-on-one with an individual, make sure you ask permission before you touch that person.
  5. If you are praying one-on-one with an individual, carry post it notes and a pen. Some individuals may benefit from you writing down key phrases or an illustration of your prayer to take with them.
  6. If asked to pray for healing of a person with a disability, be very cautious and proceed ONLY by following the lead of the individual with a disability.

Practical Tools

  • The Vertical Habits are eight relational words we utilize in worship and conversation with God. The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship website has many resources for implementing the Vertical Habits in your community.
  • Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship by Barbara J. Newman provides an explanation of the Vertical Habits and suggestions for implementing them in an inclusive worship community.
  • The G.L.U.E. Training Manual by Barbara J. Newman and Kimberly Luurtsema has many resources and suggestions.
  • Utilize this reference sheet on person-first language.

Preacher

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Know your “big idea” and emphasize that big idea in multi-sensory ways (e.g. make up a catchy phrase, set the big idea to music, show a picture on a Power Point, have an object to show and/or interact with, include congregational movement, or make sermon notes with words and pictures).
  2. Plant times within the sermon where there can be interaction between the congregation and pastor (e.g. respond to a question, give a thumbs up or thumbs down response, participate in a role play, talk about something with the person next to you, or act out an example or section of Scripture).
  3. Not only think about the words you want to say but also how those words will be received. What would you understand if you were an individual with failing memory, a person who interprets language literally, a person with a lower IQ, an English Language Learner, a person with limited hearing, a new believer, a person from a different country, background, or denomination? How could you change one thing in your sermon to make a better connection?
  4. If your sermon is lengthy, consider offering options for movement (e.g. a rocking chair for an individual that needs to move, options to sit or stand, a smaller environment where movement is welcome, and providing hand fidgets or tools throughout the sanctuary).
  5. Watch your wording. “Please rise in body or in spirit” allows all to participate whereas, “Please stand” will leave out those who are unable to do so.
  6. Consider making a sermon manuscript or extensive outline available for people to pick up before the service for the sake of people with hearing impairments and people with attention deficits.
  7. Take care when preaching on healing miracles not to assume that all people with disabilities want to be healed.
  8. When announcing births of children with disabilities, announce the birth of a child, not a disability.
  9. Remember people with non-visible disabilities in the congregational prayer sometimes, such as asking God for grace for people living with mental illnesses and their family members.

Practical Tools

Product Purchaser

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Choose products that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic whenever possible.
  2. Choose candles that are unscented and non-petroleum-based.
  3. Find out if gluten-free, sugar-free, or allergen-free foods are necessary for certain individuals and keep them in stock. ALWAYS offer a gluten-free bread option for the Lord’s Supper.
  4. Keep a supply of items individuals with sensory or visual differences may need (e.g. sound blockers, ear plugs, fidgets, braille Bibles and books, large print Bibles and books, etc.).
  5. See that seating options are safe and appropriate. They should be sized correctly and stable for the individuals utilizing them.
  6. Provide seating options that offer movement (e.g. wiggle cushion or Hokki stool) or structure (e.g. chair with arms, rocking chair, or bean bag chair).

Practical Tools

Scripture Reader

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Use a microphone that’s connected to a hearing loop system.
  2. Post the words on the screen. Include simple pictures if possible.
  3. Post the reading ahead of time on your website (including YouVersion) for those who may use a digital device or need it in large print.
  4. If gifted in this way, invite a person with a disability to be the Scripture reader or part of a team reading Scripture.
  5. Consider using technology in your Scripture reading through providing audio options for those who struggle with reading. Provide speech buttons for those who could read Scripture by pressing a pre-recorded button or series of buttons.
  6. Provide access to large print Bibles.

Practical Tools

  • Use YouVersion app for audio options and to share Scripture online ahead of time. Visit youversion.com for more information.
  • Use speech buttons to include individuals with communication differences. Order ablenetinc.com
  • For more information on hearing loops, see hearingloop.org.

Sign Language Interpreter

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Provide interpretations of sermons, small group discussions, and other church events to facilitate inclusion in the church.
  2. Dress in un-patterned clothing so signing is easy to see.
  3. Teach common signs to others in the congregation so they can interact with the person who is deaf.
  4. Teach signs to songs during children’s worship.
  5. Get to know the person you are interpreting for and help them use their gifts in the church body.

Practical Tool

Sound Crew Leader or Member

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Microphones should be used at all times by anyone who is speaking.
  2. Watch the volume! There are many who appreciate a more quiet area or at least a way to dampen the sound. If this isn’t possible, consider finding the best range and setting for persons with noise sensitivity.
  3. Create a welcome video. Similar to how you might look up photos of a hotel for an upcoming trip, consider having a similar welcome video of your church available on your website to offer guests a preview of what they can expect when they visit your church for the first time. Provide the information in a printed book form as well.
  4. See how you can connect your tech systems (e.g. hearing loop, projecting the PowerPoint on to personal devices, etc.).
  5. Mentor someone. The tech arena is a great place to serve for an individual who may need movement or hands-on involvement to engage in church. Look for an individual who is eager to get connected in church and train that individual.

Practical Tool

Support Group Leader or Member

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Pray for and with your group regularly.
  2. Set up boundaries for the focus of the group, discussion topics and times, confidentiality, and considerations for who, what, when, where, and how discussions are appropriate.
  3. As a group, host training, awareness, and fun events for your church and community.
  4. Gather and share resources available within and outside your group and church.

Practical Tools

Teacher or Leader

Includes adult and youth.

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Material/lessons should be adapted as needed for inclusion of children and adults with accessibility needs.
  2. Always use person-first language.
  3. Receive training in areas of specific disabilities, behavior management, person-first language, etc.
  4. Utilize the knowledge, experience, and resources of local experts: members of the congregation and community who know about the individuals with disabilities, areas of disability, assistive technology, etc.
  5. Welcome aids, assistants, and other team members who make it possible for persons with disabilities to participate in the learning environment.
  6. Get to know individuals as much as possible (names, areas of interest, families, etc.).
  7. Communicate regularly and clearly with all persons involved in including an individual (peers, family, teachers, etc.).
  8. See items under “Preacher” for additional ideas.

Practical Tools

Usher

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Receive training on appropriate ways to greet and meet the needs of people with disabilities.
  2. Know what your church offers, including gluten-free options, seating options, large print items, hearing loop, assistants or buddies in children’s ministry, quiet area, sound blockers, and more.
  3. Be welcoming and understanding of those who do not understand social cues or respond in typical ways.
  4. Wear a nametag and/or other identifiers that signal you are someone guests can come to for information or help.
  5. Ask that pew cutouts be created for people who use wheelchairs or walkers.

Practical Tools

  • Take a look at our Sample Order of Worship to help think about how to best support persons with varied abilities during a service.
  • The United Methodist Church offers a wonderful guide for ushers and greeters on greeting persons with disabilities.
  • Autism and Your Church by Barbara J. Newman has information on understanding individuals who may not understand social cues in typical ways.
  • Utilize this reference sheet on person-first language.

Website Manager / Designer

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Include pictures of persons with disabilities included in typical activities in your community.
  2. Always use person-first language. For example, say “a man with Down syndrome” or “a child who uses a wheelchair” instead of “a Downs man” or “a crippled child”.
  3. Clearly communicate accessibility options on your website. For example, share accessibility features such as barrier free facility or hearing loop. Let website visitors know that large/bold print bulletins, song books, and Bibles are available and large print words are projected on the PowerPoint. Let folks know that Braille bulletins or alternative media are available upon request. Indicate other accessibility options.
  4. Create a welcome video. Similar to how you might look up photos of a hotel for an upcoming trip, consider having a similar welcome video of your church available on your website to offer guests a preview of what they can expect when they visit your church for the first time.
  5. Make it easy to contact the church for accessibility need requests (e.g. sign language interpreter, sermon notes ahead of time for digital device, large print requests, etc.).
  6. If you offer a livestream option, remember that there are many individuals who take advantage of watching church within their own home. Consider how you may connect with the gifts and needs of individuals who regularly tune into your worship service.
  7. Make sure your website design is accessible so that it can be easily read and utilized on various devices.

Practical Tools

Worship Service Planner and Leader

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Consider the gifts of persons with varied abilities as you determine worship team participants and planners. For example, ask an strong reader who is in a wheelchair to read Scripture, ask a “techy” person with autism spectrum disorder to work with the sound system, ask a young artist to make a picture for the big idea of the day.
  2. Have a variety of tools available during worship so everyone can engage in the conversation with God. For example, include worship streamers which can be waved during songs, sound blockers for those with sensitive ears, the PowerPoint available ahead of time (allows a person with limited vision to access the material on a personal device), and hand tools and fidgets for those needing movement options.
  3. Provide options for individuals with limited vision and hearing. For example, have large-print hymnals and Bibles available, offer large-print handouts and bulletins, consider a hearing loop, Sign Language interpreter, or Braille bulletin and make alternative media available upon request.
  4. Plan deliberate times within your year to highlight and celebrate the gifts that persons with disabilities bring to your congregation.
  5. Provide the order of worship in written and/or pictorial form to individuals who function best when they know the day’s plan and have an accompanying schedule. See #6 below.
  6. Be careful with your wording in the publicly shared order of worship. Do not use specific times or list events that will not happen, as some individuals may be counting on your schedule to be completely precise and accurate. For example, someone may get agitated if the schedule says 10:00 AM worship, but the service does not start until 10:04 AM.

Practical Tools

Worship Team Member

Includes musicians and members of choir or band.

Universal and Responsive Design Tips

  1. Recognize people with varied abilities that have a heart for worship and welcome them to participate in some way.
  2. Begin by asking the right question, “What CAN the individual do?”, and be willing to accommodate physical needs (e.g. space for wheelchair, streamers for those without words, stools for those unable to stand for longer times, etc.).
  3. Be willing to accommodate visual needs (e.g. lyrics in large print or on a digital device, adequate lighting in the worship area and space leading up to it, etc.).
  4. Be willing to accommodate other needs (e.g. songs on CD ahead of time, clothing or robe choices that will work with each participant, special location for greater comfort or lessened anxiety, etc.).
  5. There are times when the congregation needs an introduction to the behaviors or appearance of a person with a disability to best receive that individual’s gifts. Know the person, the gifts and needs, and share them accordingly (with permission from that person or that person’s parent or guardian).
  6. Understand the volume level matters – many with sensitive ears may be present, so consider how instruments and voices would be most effective in leading the congregation into worship without being overly loud.

Practical Tools