I’m already getting my plans together for our 2016 Autism Awareness Month Campaign and I need your help!
I am asking places of worship to agree to do at least one activity for Autism Awareness Month in April. Here are some ideas:
- Encourage everyone at your church to wear blue during a designated service. Share information about autism during your announcements or during the sermon.
- Have a display table available in a high traffic area with information about autism. Include handouts and contact information for local resources.
- Conduct an activity in children’s church for autism awareness, such as a craft or any other activity that teaches the youth about autism and acceptance of those that are different.
- Reach out to a special needs family in your church and ask them how the church can be more inclusive and meet their needs.
- Train staff members in children’s church and positions of leadership about autism.
- Begin working towards starting a special needs ministry.
- Conduct an evaluation of your worship services and see how you can take steps to be more inclusive for persons with disabilities. Examples would include:
- Ensuring that staff and volunteers show compassion and are welcoming to families with special needs. This is very important for greeters, ushers and children’s ministry workers.
- Making available a separate room for persons to watch the service on TV. This could be for those that can’t remain in the regular service for a variety of reasons.
- Checking your sound systems for noise levels.
- Having headphones available for those who are sensitive to certain noise levels
- Checking the overhead lighting, making sure it’s not too dark or too bright. Exercise caution with using strobe lights for those that may be prone to seizures.
You are welcome to choose any of these activities or even choose your own! Want to do more than one? Go right ahead! I am willing to help you with any activity you choose. You can also develop a team at your church to help you carry out this initiative if you need more help.
So let’s sum it all up. Here’s what I’m asking of you:
- Let me know your desire to participate by sending me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you do that, I will send you an official information packet.
- Speak with your church leadership to see which activity for Autism Awareness Month will be the best fit for your ministry. Feel free to share the information packet with them.
- Choose a date for the activity in the month of April.
- Tell me your activity and the date in April that it will happen by no later than March 1st.
- On the day of your activity, take pictures and tell me how many people were in attendance or participated.
- Fill out the short evaluation form included in your information packet. Email it to me along with your pictures by no later than Friday, May 6th to: email@example.com.
That’s about it! One more thing…Tell a friend! If you know of another church that would be willing to participate in this initiative, please let me know! I would love to have them on board! The more churches participate, the more we can spread awareness about autism and minister to special needs families!