Happy New Year! We are excited about this new decade and all that is to come!
It’s time to start welcoming places of worship to participate in the 2020 Accessible Faith Initiative, hosted by the Autism Faith Network! We would love to have you join us in promoting autism awareness, acceptance and inclusion. We desire for every person with autism to have a place of worship that is accessible to them and their family.
The Autism Faith Network began in 2016 after our founder, Tonya Nash, realized that churches all over the nation were ill-prepared to serve persons with autism and their families. It was originally called the Autism Awareness Month Faith Based Initiative. Through this initiative, we sought to increase awareness about autism by challenging faith-based communities to do at least one activity for autism awareness month in April.
We are passionate about this work and continue to grow each year. This year will be our 5th time hosting this event. We hope that you will join us in commemorating this milestone! Since 2016, we have served 35 churches, with over 10,000 people learning about autism at their place of worship!
HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE
You might be wondering how you can join our efforts. Here’s how!
- Choose a date and activity for autism awareness month in April. We have a list of activities to choose from, but you are welcome to choose your own. Some ideas include: sharing facts about autism in the announcements, creating a bulletin board or display table, and more! We have templates available, so you don’t have to do much work!
- Get approval from church leadership and pick a Person of Contact (POC). We communicate with the POC to provide support and guidance.
- Have fun during your activity! Be creative and get the congregation involved.
- Take pictures of your activity in progress and count all participants.
- After your activity, email your pictures to us, along with your responses to a short evaluation form.
That’s it! Easy, right?
There are lots of reasons to join us. For starters, participation in the Accessible Faith Initiative is free! We provide a toolkit for participants that includes a welcome letter, program rules, activity ideas, up to date information about autism, templates and more! A Facebook group is available for participants that include opportunities for networking and sharing ideas.
Participants receive a letter of thanks, a certificate of participation and recognition on our social media networks and website. This year, we are having a special awards ceremony to recognize the outstanding work of our participants! We will also host giveaways throughout the month of April.
OTHER WAYS TO PARTICIPATE
We are also seeking volunteers for our prayer team and marketing team. Our prayer team will meet via teleconference once a month to pray for the network and a variety of autism-related subjects. Our marketing team will help to recruit places of worship and share information on social media about the Accessible Faith Initiative.
We would love for you to join us! If you would like more information, please feel free to send us a message! If you aren’t already, please like our pages on Facebook and Instagram. You can also follow us on Twitter!
If you are interested in signing up, click here!
Together, we can make our places of worship more autism friendly!