Community Connections


After the list is exhausted, ask the person (with support if necessary) to pick their top three (five if necessary) ideas. Where are they most interested? What would they like to try? Circle these ideas. For some people who have trouble with picking the top 3 or 5 you can ask which are really good ideas and give them a blue check. Then ask which among the good ideas are great and give them a red check. If the person is not present with you during the training, then just ask the audience to suggest the top four they would like to see developed further. Circle these.



To help people develop their interests and to find connections within the community.



Discuss with them a variety of environmental situations to find potential matches in the community to develop interests.


Choose one interest from ideas generated during an opening round. For example, the interest might be photography. Brainstorm this list, with everyone in the audience adding ideas. Ask: “Where is any possible place that someone could be employed, related to photography in any way? Anywhere at all? Where is any possible place where someone could volunteer their time to do photography?” List all possible places, even just loosely related to photography. Then ask, “Where could someone learn more about photography? Where could a person develop skills related to photography or just learn about taking pictures? And are there any places that a hobby or club or just for fun could be related to photography?” Be sure to include all people in the audience, ask everyone for one idea. You do not have to go in order, all of the employment ideas first, etc. Remind people of brainstorming rules: all ideas count, no discussion, the sillier and crazier the better. Go fast, through the audience, keep asking everyone for an idea. You may need more than one flipchart paper. It often works best to have 1 person facilitating and another person (with fast handwriting) recording.




To increase the likelihood that connecting a person in their community will be successful and satisfying for them.



The people who support the person will identify these things after they have agreed on a place or activity to focus their interests.





To increase a person from being present, to participating, and to ultimately connecting within the community.



Ask them to answer the following questions. Listen and observe to see if some answers are silently revealed. Use the one or two focus areas identified in brainstorming.


Is the person present?

  • What will we see if the person is present?

  • How will we know he is present?


Is the person participating?

  • What will see when the person is participating?

  • How will we know he is participating?


Is the person connecting?

  • What will we see when the person is connecting here?

  • How will we know he is connecting?