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Posted by on Mar 16, 2012 in Ministry Leaders, Orange Conference, Special Needs | 0 comments

New for Orange Conference 2012: Special Needs Focused Breakout Track

You may have heard, but we just wanted to make sure that you knew about the special needs focused workshops at Orange Conference 2012. We’re very excited to share with you about these unique ministry opportunities for engaging and relating to children with special needs and their families.

Check out what we have to offer!

HOW TO: Create a Special Needs Ministry Environment – Taught by Meaghan Wall
In this session we will walk through the details to consider as you create a safe and sensory-rich ministry environment. Ideas will be offered for every budget so that you can make your existing environment more conducive to special needs inclusion or plan your future space from the ground up. We’ll show you how to make spaces accessible and inviting for students with a disability, from check-in area to classroom to play area, bathroom, and even outdoor playgrounds.

HOW TO: Recruit, Train and Retain Special Needs Volunteers – Taught by Linda Martin
Special needs ministries offer a unique opportunity to create a sense of community and purpose for its lay servants. You’ll leave with new ideas for finding, fulfilling and keeping volunteers called to serve in this ministry. We’ll go through a sample volunteer training outline during this session as well as walk you through the basics of making teens an integral part of your church’s volunteer team.

HOW TO: Use Technology for Special Needs, Part 1 – Taught by Meaghan Wall
A growing number of apps are presenting new ways to engage children with disabilities and communication disorders. We’ll give you ideas for ways you can use technology in the church setting for the purpose of including and even advancing the spiritual development of the child with special needs.

Surviving to Thriving: Techniques to Engage Different Learners – Taught by Amy Fenton Lee
The success of a child is often closely tied to the success of a volunteer. In this fast-paced session we’ll equip you with tricks and tactics for keeping the most challenging child engaged. You’ll learn easy and effective communication techniques, behavior management strategies, and activity adaptations that can make Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights and VBS environments a meaningful experience for everyone involved. Lay volunteers will be prepared to teach children with various learning differences.

Accommodating & Advancing the Spiritual Development of Kids with Autism – Taught by Linda Martin
This workshop will address how the Sunday morning experience can be specially tailored to accommodate the child or student with autism. Inclusion strategies will also be offered for typical ministry environments and self-contained settings where impacted individuals may participate. There will be special emphasis on how to modify curriculum and use music for the purpose of helping a student with autism learn a Bible lesson and concept.

Leading a Special Needs Inclusion Initiative – Taught by Amy Fenton Lee
Accommodating a child with special needs can be a game-changer for an entire church staff. With preparation and program parameters everyone can experience success. We’ll walk through the various issues a church’s leadership team may need to consider as they determine their church’s unique calling and capability for disability accommodation. We will talk about developing a job description for a special needs ministry coordinator while offering ways the church can inspire and equip lay leader champions. Best practices will be shared for instilling a sound culture for risk management and program longevity. This workshop is geared toward senior pastors and family ministry leaders.

Family Ministry, Spiritual Formation & Special Needs – Taught by Meaghan Wall
This workshop will have particular emphasis on the Orange approach to special needs inclusion. We’ll share ideas to advance the spiritual development of the child with learning differences or disabilities by encouraging and equipping parents. In addition, we’ll offer ways the ministry can facilitate learning by providing service experiences for the individual impacted by disability.

About the Workshop Speakers:
Meaghan Wall is the special needs ministry coordinator for Stonebriar Church in Frisco, Texas, where she has served for the past five years. Stonebriar currently welcomes 80 students with special needs, many impacted by autism. Since college, Meaghan has worked in several roles that shaped her for eventual ministry at Stonebriar, such as serving on staff at a church in Lubbock, Texas, and Easter Seals Colorado. Meaghan is a licensed and experienced social worker with a degree from Texas Tech University. Meaghan regularly participates in professional and ministry-related training for those serving individuals with various disabilities.

Linda Martin MME, MT-BC is a board certified music therapist with a master’s degree in music therapy. Monday through Friday, Linda writes music curriculum for and provides music therapy consultation to California public schools, aiding in the educational development of students with autism. On the weekends, Linda leads the Miracle 139 Special Needs Ministry at The Rock Church in San Diego, California. Martin frequently consults California area churches looking to start or grow a special needs ministry.

Amy Fenton Lee is the special needs columnist for Children’s Ministry Magazine and the special needs consultant to Orange. She is also the writer behind The Inclusive Church Blog at www.TheInclusiveChurch.com. Amy is an active children’s ministry volunteer in her home church. While Amy teaches in typical children’s ministry environments, she is always prepared to include a child with special needs.

For questions about the special needs focused workshops and presenters, please contact Amy Fenton Lee at amy@theinclusivechurch.com or (770) 841-4765. For more information about The Orange Conference, or to register, please visit www.TheOrangeConference.com.

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