Non-Visible, Pain, and Aging

SUPPLIES: table covered with white roll paper, markers, chairs, masking tape, popcorn, oversized button up shirts, empty and clean jars, plastic gloves(latex and powder free), diced pieces of apple and potato and oranges, cotton balls, debrief questions sheet



1.     Greet new participants and when a few folks have gathered introduce the topic with, “Good morning. This station will be helping you understand Impairments that are not visual- things like pain and aging. You will have the opportunity to do a few things at this station.

Some people live in indescribable pain that is debilitation or limits their daily functioning. Basic daily tasks become very difficult and emotionally taxing because of the increased challenge. Also, as we age, many things that were once simple become harder, skills that we had become limited, and senses start to lose their strength. We have a few activities for you learn about and experience non-visible pain and the effects of aging.

You can put on any of these pairs of shoes and try to walk outside and around this building then back in.

You can put on a pair of gloves and try to button up this long sleeve shirt all the way and then unbutton it all the way.

You can buddy tape your fingers together and try to open a jar of food.

You can put cotton balls in your nose and try to smell certain items a partner puts under your nose, then eat them. Your goal is to smell what the item is and to identify what the food is that you are eating. Don’t worry- all the items we have are edible and gluten free.

2.     Make certain the debrief question sheet is visible and taped down to the white roll paper on the table. Encourage participants to write responses to questions on the last slide on the white roll paper on the table.

3.     Take time to answer questions (if you feel comfortable) and hear what the participants are processing out loud. Some of your learners will be external processors and need someone to speak to about what they experienced where others will be internal processors and simply listen to what is being said or write more fully on the white roll paper. Respect both forms of processing.

4.     Thank the participants for their focus and encourage them to find another station. Help them know what stations are available and how to get to them.


Debrief Questions (Non-Visible, Pain, and Aging)

1.     What did you experience? What was surprising, challenging, or frustrating?

2.     What are ways that persons with invisible impairments or folks who are aging might be hindered from fully engaging in the life of your church?

3.     What adaptations can be made in the life of your congregation to create inclusive space for persons with invisible impairments or folks who are aging?