Simply put, Faith4All will assist a faith community's transformation as it becomes a more welcoming and assessible to people who have a variety of disabilities. While one portion of this website will list important features of both your phyiscal plant and your community's culture can be changed so as to encourage the greater involvement of people who might live with any sort of disability; the Faith4All organization can also provide individualized attention to this effort, assisting and encouraging in this transformation and guiding its progress, helping to develop intrest in your community to reach out and open the doors to all interested members.
A Faith4All congregational consultant will visit your faith community and provide an inspirational sermon as part of your service, or a presentation. We have presented at local faith communities, churches and synagogues across the country, as well as for hospitals and other community service organizations. These messages are a religiously motivated call for inclusion that range in length from 10 to 30 minutes Clients report that they are very effective.
Often delivered in conjunction with a sermon or as part of an “inclusive worship weekend”, Faith4All Congregational Consultants can lead engaging educational classes which can explore how faith communities exclude people living with disabilities. This is done frequently (but not always) unconscious. Our exercises can illustrate this. The classes are designed to further awaken listeners to the divine call for inclusion. Work will be done also in outlining how your faith community might most effectively welcome and include people of all abilities We can help your faith community learn to demonstrate the universal truths your faith community claims.
Faith4All Congregational Consultants conduct an assessment of the facilities of your faith community looking for possible “trouble spots” that might hinder accessibility. These issues can make your community less welcoming, or simply inaccessible, to people who might presently live with a disability. The Faith4All Congregational Consultants include people living with disabilities, who are trained and experienced in identifying “trouble spots.” Communities have often found it most effective to have members of a local “inclusion team” or other interested parties accompany the Congregational Consultant during this review. After the assessment is conducted, Faith4All will provide you with a report detailing any possible “trouble spots” with your facility. This report will also include a list of local resources to help rectify these issues and improve the welcome your facility physically offers to the differently abled.
In addition, a Faith4All Congregational Consultants can attend a meeting of your faith community. An analysis of the welcome that our congregational consultants receive will be documented. This analysis will give you a sense of the “feel” that they get when worshiping there. We have found is most effective if this visit were “unannounced”, thereby letting the consultant get a sense of the authentic feel that your congregation provides to its visitors or members with a disability. This assessment may be the most important as most often it is the welcome given to persons with disabilities and the attitudes displayed by your members that most alienates or puts off people living with a disability. This sense that one's needs can not be met or are minimized will discourage people from returning or joining your congregation.
Faith4All Congregational Consultants can assist members or staff of your faith community to form an “inclusion team” that will meet and plan how to improve the welcome provided by your faith community to people living with a disability. We can meet with an inclusion team as needed to ensure that your inclusive efforts become a natural part of the operation of your faith community. Our goal is to assist your faith community to improve its own inclusive efforts and to make them a natural part of your community’s operation.
Faith4All hopes that, through our partnership, your faith institution transforms itself, becoming a community more welcoming of people living with disabilities and even more clearly a reflection of the divine. Our intention, as well, is to make your congregation self-reliant in this area. After our initial assessment, planning and review engagements, improvements will have been made. However, this can never be the end of the journey to meet the needs of the differenty abled. As new resources, technology and designs for the differently abled become available, your congregation will need to continue to adapt and evolve in its capacity to welcome and include these people. It may be reassurring to know that Faith4All is available to review and offer on-going assistance and advice for your staff, your inclusion team, or your entire faith community.