Adaptions for Differently-Abled Persons

The overall purpose of AODA druidry is to offer spiritual seekers practices to develop a deep connection with nature and tools for their spiritual development. We recognize that some individuals may need adaptations of our core material to allow AODA druidry to be as friendly and flexible as possible for any individual while remaining true to our practice’s core values and purposes.

We offer this guide as a starting point for adaptations, and also welcome you to email us at info@aoda.org to discuss any specific accommodations or questions that you might have, particularly those that might alter your completion of the curriculum. This guide was developed in consultation with a number of our members who have adapted our curriculum in various ways and thus are rooted in the real practices of our members.  If you have additional suggestions for this guide, please email us

Mobility

Rituals. Individuals with limited mobility can adapt any instructions for movement in our rituals (initiations, opening, closing, Sphere of Protection, druid holy days).  All of our rituals can be performed in a seated position (simply ignore the movement directions).

Meditation. For some individuals, sitting in a straight-backed chair for meditation may not be comfortable or feasible. We encourage you to make adaptations as necessary which may include meditating standing or lying flat on your back on a carpet or yoga mat.  Note that we don’t recommend meditating in bed as it is too easy to fall asleep.

Tree Planting and Plant Relationships. We recognize that mobility issues may prevent you from planting a tree, which is part of why our current curriculum also allows for other plant connections and tending.  If this is still difficult for you,  please contact the Grand Grove office at info@aoda.org. We are happy to work with you on an alternative.

Regular Time in Nature. Individuals with mobility challenges may have more limited opportunities to engage with nature. Some of our members who needed assistance to get outdoors have opted to bring nature indoors with potted plants and/or a bird feeder in a window. Nature connection can take many forms, including connecting with what is growing inside or just outside your door.

Anxiety and PTSD

Daily Routines. Individuals suffering from anxiety, PTSD, or depression might experience regular disruption of daily routines and/or have other challenges.  The purpose of AODA druidry is to have a spiritual practice that works for you as you are now; thus, we encourage you to adapt our practices to fit your needs. While we strongly encourage all candidates to work up to a daily routine by the end of the first degree (daily work offers considerable spiritual benefit), we recognize that not every individual is capable of doing spiritual work every day.  This will not prevent you from advancing through our order.

ADHD

Meditation.  Some individuals who experience ADHD may have difficulty with traditional forms of meditation, particularly meditation that requires the body to be still. Some AODA members with ADHD have thus used movement meditation as their primary meditative form.  Walking an indoor candle labyrinth, a familiar path outdoors, or using other forms of activity while engaged in meditation are strategies they have explored.

Low Vision or Blindness

Materials.  All AODA rituals, materials, and guides are available in printed and digital formats.  We can provide materials in Microsoft Word and/or adapt them to your specific needs.

Rituals. Some AODA members with blindness have asked if they can have non-AODA members help with their rituals. Any individual can participate in seasonal celebrations and other grove openings/closings; however, our initiation rituals are private. If you need an adaptation for an initiation ritual, contact us and we can arrange a recording or some other adaptation that will work for your needs.

Regular Time in Nature. Individuals with low vision or blindness challenges may have more limited opportunities to engage with nature. Individuals working with AODA’s curriculum with blindness have chosen to cultivate nature indoors with plants and also engage with nature with their other senses (such as listening to the leaves blowing in the trees from an open window).

Adaptations for Groves, Study Groups, and Home Circles

If you are a leader of a grove, study group, or home circle within AODA, please recognize that individuals in your group may be differently-abled and need adaptations.  We encourage you to write rituals and create activities that, as much as possible, allow for differently-abled individuals to participate fully. Talk with your group members about their needs.  Feel free to contact the AODA office if you have questions or need assistance with adapting rituals.