Man in blue shirt smiling







Brian Be, Self-Advocacy Coordinator and LEND Graduate


H.I. = Having InterDependence

Live Interactive Arts Workshops



H.I. Workshops help people with and without disabilities play together. When we say "Hi" it’s in fun new ways and we start connecting more. The goal is not just independence, but to embrace, celebrate and expand by Having InterDependence. In the room, we all teach and learn from each other.

Brian Be, JFK Partners Self-Advocacy Coordinator and LEND Graduate co-developed the workshop activities in collaboration with Phamaly Theatre, a theater company for performers with disabilities.


 "Brian Be led an improv workshop for employment professionals at our annual conference. The session was well-attended, engaging, and fun. Brian's facilitation style is inclusive, humanizing, and joyful. He helped participants connect to their creative spirits and hearts. Brian reminded us all what it means to be human professionals as we serve others. I would 100% recommend Brian Be's workshops for group or event." - Deirdre Sage, MSW, LCSW

Sample HI! Workshop Outline

Designed for: Adults with and without Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Ideal Group Size: 15-30 people (have facilitated 50-70 people)

Room Configuration: Tables and chairs moved off-to-the-side. Big, open space needed to spread out into a circle, sometimes 2 or 3 groups. 


  • Social engagement
  • Building community and collaboration
  • Increasing sense of belonging
  • Individual empowerment
  • Having fun and encouraging play in a safe space!

Introduction, “HI!” AND Check-In (10 min) - Entire Group in a Circle

Social Engagement Warm-Up (15 min)

Community Building and Collaboration (15-20 minutes)

Individual Empowerment (10-15 min)

Reflections (10 min)

Dance Party Closing 


H.I. Workshop Overview

H.I. Pass the Energy Wave


The Dream

The long-term vision is for people with disabilities and their allies to teach compassion, empathy, outcomes, lived experiences for leaders and decision-makers (i.e. human services, school administrators, business executives) to create policy and programs informed by people they effect. 

from May 2024 H.I. conference participant survey titled "Comfortable with the Uncomfortable; Improvisation for job developers, vocational counselors and administrators" -

  • "The improv workshop because the presenter humanized everything."
  • "The Employer Improv was great. Really helped think through job development in a different way."
  • "Movement in the improv."

from Tim, job developer & participant (both online & in person) -

  • "My anxiety goes up at first. I'm not an artist at all and this stuff is so outside of my comfort zone. Then I play along and do this stuff and then my anxiety comes way down. And ..I just can't stop smiling."

from Jacob E., Self-Advocate "What impact has doing these workshops had on you?"

  • "All in all, I've become better at speaking, listening, and adapting with these workshops. It took a long time to get me comfortable in front of crowds, but these workshops allow me to dig deep within myself for different communication methods. When I'm spreading the joy, I feel it benefits the attendees AND me.  These opportunities are important, not just for me, but for those with disabilities who wish to broaden their skills."

from Kelly W., Parent

  • "It is very important for my son Sean to be able to actively participate in his community as so many great experiences include novel elements - like new people, new settings. Typically by the time Sean relaxes enough to actively participate, the opportunity has passed. If he can open up sooner, and be part of activities that have new aspects, he will have so many more opportunities. Thanks for this workshop."

from DJ, Participant

  • "I felt more comfortable doing the interactive activities, sharing and dancing than I would have with a fully neurotypical group. Illustrating the concept of interdependence through activities where we had to depend on others was a great reminder that we all have value and something important to contribute."
There is research being done how Interactive Arts (dance, improv, acting, etc.) can help individuals with and without disabilities. The following are select research papers on the topic. Neither JFK Partners nor Brian Be have been part of any of these research projects.

Modugno N, Iaconelli S, Fiorlli M, Lena F, Kusch I, Mirabella G. Active theater as a complementary therapy for Parkinson's disease rehabilitation: a pilot study. Scientific World Journal. 2010;10:2301-13.

Gjaerum RG1, Ineland J, Sauer L. The story about theater organizations, the public's approval, and the actors' identity formation in Nordic disability theater. Journal of Social Work in Disability & Rehabilitation. 2010;9(4):254-73.​

Zyga O, Russ SW, Meeker H, Kirk J. A preliminary investigation of a school-based musical theater intervention program for children with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability. 2018;22(3):262-278. 

Cost and payment system varies by group size, location and other factors. Contact us to discuss your situation​. Cost has varied from $200 to $1,000. 

Funding so far has included:

  • private pay by for profit organization
  • grant funded by community partners
  • supplemented by state and national healthcare in community leadership training.

Contact to discuss further.

JFK Partners (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Education II South

13121 East 17th Avenue

Mail Stop C234

Aurora, CO 80045


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