Author: David Pereyra

Disability Studies

This section is concerned with the general issues of people with disabilities. We have added this section for all committed to developing theoretical and practical knowledge about disability and promoting the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society.


Disability Studies Quarterly

Disability Studies Quarterly (DSQ) is the journal of the Society for Disability Studies (SDS). It is a multidisciplinary and international journal of interest to social scientists, scholars in the humanities and arts, disability rights advocates, and others concerned with the issues of people with disabilities. It represents the full range of methods, epistemologies, perspectives, and content that the field of disability studies embraces. https://dsq-sds.org/index


#IamChurch

During the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life is launching the #IamChurch campaign: 5 videos in which persons with disabilities, from different parts of the world, recount their experience of faith and affirm, “I am Church!”.

Each video aims to bring out the contribution that persons with disabilities offer to the ecclesial community on a daily basis. The work of evangelization carried out by some deaf young persons in Mexico, the monastery in France where some nuns with Down syndrome live out their vocation, the group of Italian youth with intellectual disabilities who participate in World Youth Days, are just a few examples of a broader reality that the campaign intends to start showing.

The videos are available on the following link and on the YouTube channels of Vatican News and the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. http://www.laityfamilylife.va/content/laityfamilylife/en/amoris-laetitia/iniziative-e-risorse/i-am-church.html


Pearls, Promises, and Potholes: A Traffic Report from the Intersections of Faith, Ministry, Theology, and Disability

A discussion with Bill Gaventa on new resources, promising practices, and problem areas in the rapidly growing movements and initiatives to include people with disabilities and their families in faith communities and in ministry and theological training. *From Calvin Institute of Christian Worship


From Barriers to Belonging: The Church and People with Disabilities

Led by Erik W. Carter, this session focuses on ten dimensions of belonging and their salience to the inclusion of people with intellectual disability, autism, and other developmental disabilities in the full life of the church. By: Erik W. Carter Tags: congregational care, disabilities, hospitality, inclusive worship, symposium 2018, youthAudio posted on May 10, 2018

What does it really mean for people with disabilities and their families (or anyone at all) to truly belong within their faith community? This session focuses on ten dimensions of belonging and their salience to the inclusion of people with intellectual disability, autism, and other developmental disabilities in the full life of the church. Led by Erik W. Carter, the presentation spurred deeper reflection about the ways in which churches might welcome and weave people with disabilities more fully into worship, learning, service, and relationships that lead to a life of flourishing. *From Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Download this multimedia file

Download the handout


Sermon Series and Study Guide on Belonging for All Abilities

*From Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Your church can use new resources, such as a sermon series and study guide, to help your congregation move from including people with disabilities to becoming a place of belonging for all abilities. Then you can pass on what you’ve learned to other congregations. By: Joan Huyser-Honig Tags: accessible worship, disabilities, inclusive worship, peer learning, preaching, sermonsArticle posted on June 21, 2021

After hearing Erik W. Carter talk about the ten dimensions of belonging, Karen Roberts thought about how many biblical passages support God’s desire to include people of all abilities in worship. Roberts is pastor of disability at First Presbyterian Church in Aurora (metro Chicago), Illinois. With peers in All Belong’s Circle of Congregations and the First Pres preaching staff, Roberts developed a seven-week sermon series on belonging. (All Belong is a nonprofit catalyzer for inclusive Christ-centered communities.)  

“The aspect of belonging is universal to the Christian experience, similar to the question of why God allows suffering. Sermons about belonging and suffering speak to families that live with disability—but everyone can relate. It’s an example of universal design learning,” Roberts says. She’s also writing a study guide to use with the sermon series.  

Explore the ten dimensions of belonging 

Roberts explains that she used to see disability ministry as outreach to individuals and families impacted by disability (inclusion). Now she believes the Holy Spirit is leading congregations and ministries to focus on ministry among and with people of varied abilities (belonging). That’s why she was so taken with an April 2020 Circle of Congregations online conversation with Erik W. Carter. He is a professor of special education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee; a member of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center; and an All Belong board member.  

Carter asked individuals and families impacted by disability to describe what belonging to a faith community would look like. This research revealed that people with disabilities and their families identified ten dimensions of belonging in community: being present, invited, welcomed, known, accepted, supported, cared for, befriended, needed, and loved.  

Use this sermon outline template to preach about belonging 

First Pres Aurora planned a seven-week sermon series called “The Family Table: The Place We all Belong.” The sermon series took place in winter 2021 and can be used or adapted elsewhere. “Our written sermons aren’t part of the posted resources because we believe pastors will want to do their own research on the suggested passages and preach from their context. We designed our series so that each sermon will be useful as a stand-alone option. For some churches, these ideas may be new,” Robert says. 

  • Visit the All Belong website to see the sermon series overview and find relevant books and disability ministry resources. The sermon series is available from First Presbyterian Church Aurora.
  • Each weekly page, such as week three, which deals with the belonging dimensions of being known and accepted, includes a sermon title, scripture focus, key idea, brief notes, and call to action.  
  • Watch all seven worship services in First Pres Aurora’s “The Family Table: The Place We All Belong.” 

Choose worship elements for your context 

Weekly pages suggest worship elements, such as songs, stories, participatory readings, creative prayer ideas, and examples of how First Pres Aurora explored the dimensions of belonging. Senior pastor Jeff Moore’s heirloom family dining room table stood on the church platform during the series. The first Sunday focused on the first dimension of belonging, being present. Near the end of the service, a family set the dining table with the Moore family’s dishware and table linens (1:01:39 in week one). Meanwhile, the congregation sang “There Is One Body” by Steve Williamson, cathedral dean of Church of the Resurrection in Aurora, Illinois.  

“On other Sundays, we learned as a congregation how to use American Sign Language to sign words of slow songs that are easy to learn, such as ‘Be Glorified‘ by Bob Kilpatrick,” Roberts says. 

Circle of Congregations peers suggested sharing stories of belonging through videos. First Pres compiled this video in which a Friendship Bible Club member describes friendship as “I have friends that are like my jelly to my peanut butter. We’ve been smooshed together like a sandwich.” The Family Table services also included stories from books and videos, such as this brief clip about a group home coming to church (stop at 0:50) and this Rain for Roots musical retelling of the Luke 14 wedding banquet parable

The sermon series works well for virtual and in-person worship 

“Our sermon series took place when we were meeting only online, so we know the series works in that format. Public health directives limited who could be on the platform when we live streamed worship. Only the preaching pastor and a small worship and tech team were present in the sanctuary. We created three videos so we could include people of varied abilities presenting scripture, such as Psalm 139, or reflecting on a dimension of belonging.  

“As churches return to in-person format, this series provides a wonderful opportunity for people of all abilities to lead worship together. It starts with really knowing the individual. Participation flows from each individual’s gifting, ability, and enjoyment. When we did our ‘All Belong worship’ service just before the pandemic lockdown, we included songs led by our regular choir combined with vocalists from Friendship Bible Club. We can ask people who love to read to read Scripture in worship. Those who play the autoharp for Friendship Bible Club can also do so in our Sunday services,” Roberts says.  

Use this study guide in other church settings 

Roberts is writing a study guide to correlate with the seven-week sermon series. The guide is designed for small groups of varied abilities and ages. Each lesson is interactive and includes multisensory ways for children, youth, adults, and intergenerational groups to engage and respond. Lessons include links to short videos along with options to use the guide without videos.  

Roberts says she’s grateful for the opportunity to learn from and pray with her Circle of Congregations peers in disability ministry. “These thought partners have given me study guide lesson ideas, such as ways for children to experience in small ways how to walk in the shoes of someone who lives with disability. They reminded me that responses that are less word-focused help more people participate. This might be giving a thumbs up or thumbs down, adding movement to worship songs about the discussion topics, or creating a poster together. During songs, people can wave praise streamers with colors representing Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (gold, red, and white). 

Small groups could use the guide to prepare for an upcoming sermon or as a follow-up to a sermon. Even in churches that don’t do the sermon series, small groups can use the study guide to explore the theme of belonging. Roberts expects that the study guide will be available in September 2021 at All Belong’s sermon series landing page

Share your experiences 

As of June 2021, The Family Table sermon series had only been preached at Roberts’ church. “My hope is that through this series other congregations will grow in their awareness and understanding of what it means for the Church to be the place we all belong. God created each person to be in relationship with him and then with one another. The desire for belonging is universal. Our welcome to others begins with God’s welcome to us. I hope that the sermon series may help break down barriers to belonging through the Word, through stories of belonging, and through worshipping as one body, made up of many parts, all gathered at The Family Table,” she says.  

Would you like to join pilot churches from Circle of Congregations in leading your congregation, youth group, small group, or study by using the sermon series outline or study guide? If so, then please contact All Belong. “We’d love to  hear how you uniquely adapted the series and how it impacted your community. Our prayer is that it is a resource that God will use to impact many congregations!” Roberts says. 


Bibliography

Divine Nobodies by Jim Palmer
Every day ordinary people, the very presence of Christ; The Mercy, and Grace of Christ blessing and caring for the people they encounter in their everyday lives, whatever their occupation..

Inclusion Handbook Editors: Mark Stephenson, Terry DeYoung, Keith Dow and Dan Vander Plaats
This easy-to-read book functions as a “go-to-guide” providing some basic step-by-step instructions for disability inclusion. It is very simple and practical in its approach and covers a variety of areas including ministry to people with physical impairments, developmental disabilities, aging stresses (for example Alzheimer’s and dementia) and mental illness. Definitely a great resource for both church and para-church organizations, for pastors, professors, and lay people. (Also available in Korean: 통합 안내서, 장애 옹호인들을 위한 자원

A Compassionate Journey by John Cook

A Compassionate Journey: Coming Alongside People with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses, by John G. Cook, guides readers in the practice of compassion and provides a helpful perspective on caring in the face of long-term need. That makes this book ideal for study by church councils, care teams, adult education groups, and individuals who want to learn how to show care to people with long-term needs. Available from Faith Alive Christian Resources

Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities by Barbara Newman
Special education teacher Barb Newman provides a much-needed how-to manual that equips teachers, church activity leaders, and kids with such gems as information for understanding children with special needs, guidelines for churches, and devotions for families. To access a free sample chapter, visit Helping Kids Include Kids….With Autism

Autism and the Church: Nurturing the Spiritual Growth of People with Autism Spectrum Disorder by Barbara Newman

This revised and updated edition of a trusted resource will help your church welcome people with autism into the full life of your congregation.

Changing Attitudes about Disability by Dan Vander Plaats
Vander Plaats discusses different attitudes we may have about disability and provides multiple resources on how to move along the pendulum from ignorance, to pity, to caring, to friendship, and ultimately, to co-labouring, where we find ourselves in rich reciprocal relationships with disabled people that enables both of us to fulfill our God-given callings.

Disability and Inclusive Communities by Kevin Timpe
Kevin, a professor of philosophy at Calvin University, presents the case for inclusion, aided by the voices of people with disabilities. “In just over an hour (which is all the time it took me read “Disability and Inclusive Communities”), author Kevin Timpe introduced me to brothers and sisters in Christ who have every reason to reject the church, yet have not. Instead, their rejection has often come from the church itself. This ought not be the case. This is a must-read for any Christian who believes the church has figured out inclusion and disability. It will make you mad, ashamed, repentant, and hopeful. Reading it prompted me toward, as Timpe suggests, “radical and deliberate reorientation of our communities.” I pray that God will use this lean but compelling manuscript to begin a redemptive reorientation of our churches and society.” – Dan Vander Plaats, Director of Advancement at Elim Christian Services 

Same Lake, Different Boat by Steph Hubach

When it comes to people with disability, however, we often act like we’re in different lakes. Disability can seem frightening, abnormal—or even irrelevant to those who do not experience it. But Stephanie Hubach argues that there is a better way to think of disability, a better way to understand the challenges facing those touched by disability, and a better way to understand the role of the church in the lives of people with differing abilities. She pinpoints what is true about disability, in contrast to common secular views, and what we need to rethink and relearn in order to support one another and make God’s kingdom truly accessible to all.

Disability and the Gospel by Michael Beates
A biblical, comprehensive yet condensed and very approachable, look at the theology of disability.

Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship by Barbara Newman
A fantastic, practical approach to making the 8 vertical habits of worship usable for individuals of all ages and abilities.

Special Needs Parenting: From Coping to Thriving by Lorna Bradley
A great small group study for those raising children with special needs of all ages. Great questions for discussion with a biblical perspective.

Building Community, Practical  Ways to Build Inclusive for People Who Are Vulnerable by Cara Milne www.mpoweredplanning.com
A great hands-on guide for anyone contemplating any kind of relationship with those who have disabilities. I love the flow of the chapters….from first conversation to lasting relationships!

Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families Editors: Robert H. Albers, William H. Meller, Steven D. Thurber
The language of creation replaces, and transcends, the language of loss, just as it does in life. The pastoral care-giver’s question is not, “What have you lost? But “What’s it like?” and “What’s happening?”

The Spiritual Art of Raising Children With Disabilities by Kathleen Deyer Bolduc 
Invites readers to join her on a spiritual journey that begins with the shattering pain of asking questions that cannot be answered and continue toward new creation and new community.

Mental Health: A Guide for Faith Leaders and its companion, Quick Reference on Mental Health for Faith LeadersThe Mental Health and Faith Community Partnership
This guide provides information to help faith leaders work with members of their congregations and their families who are facing mental health challenges.

A Day in the Life by Bev Roozeboom 
This book gives a glimpse into the chaos and hope of families with children living in the grip of chronic mental health disorders.

Turning Barriers into Bridges: The Inclusive Use of Information and Communication Technology for Churches in America, Britain, and Canada by Dr. John Jay Frank
Presents biblical, legal, and cultural reasons for making church communications accessible, and it provides specific guidelines to do so.

Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities by Erik W. Carter 
An excellent read based on solid research and practical application.

Autism and the God Connection: Redefining the Autistic Experience Through Extraordinary Accounts of Spiritual Giftedness by William Stillman
A parents’ view of Autism from a faith perspective. 

Too Wise to Be Mistaken, Too Good to be Unkind by Cathy Steere
Christian parents and their perspective on Autism. 

Feathers from Heaven by Denise Briley
A parent’s view of disability from a faith perspective. 

Dancing with Max:A Mother and Son Who Broke Free by Emily Colson
A mother’s perspective of the gifts and struggles of disability from a faith perspective. 

No Ordinary Boy by Jennifer Johannesen
The story of a Canadian family and their son Owen. 

Adam, God’s Beloved by Henri J. Nouwen
In his final book, Nouwen shares the spiritual lessons he learned from a young man with disabilities. 

Immeasurably More: More Hope, More Joy: Embracing Life with Down Syndrome by Linda Aalderink
A book about embracing life with Down syndrome. 

Disability and Spirituality: Recovering Wholeness by William C. Gaventh 
An overview of the historical and contemporary developments within the area of spirituality and disability. 

Caring and Covenant: Notes on a Sacramental Ecclesiology of Disability by Walker Michael

Christians with and without disabilities can most clearly care for each other in covenantal relationships, faithful and loving connections that help us grow. These compassionate encounters can empower us to become what one theologian calls “catholic personalities,” people open to authentically encountering all others. 

Spirit and the Politics of Disablement by Sharon V. Betcher

In this remarkable and incisive work, Sharon Betcher analyzes our world and God’s embodied presence in the light of her own disability and the insight it affords. She claims disablement as a site of powerful social and religious critique and reflection.

Copious Hosting: a Theology of Access for People with Disabilities by Jennie Weiss Block 

This book aims to do two things: to acquaint church and synagogue leaders with the history and philosophy of the disability movement and to provide resources from scripture and theology for thinking and preaching about disability in a new way.

My Body is Not a Prayer Request by Amy Kenny

Much of the church has forgotten that we worship a disabled God whose wounds survived resurrection, says Amy Kenny. It is time for the church to start treating disabled people as full members of the body of Christ who have much more to offer than a miraculous cure narrative and to learn from their embodied experiences. 

Reinders, Hans S. Receiving the Gift of Friendship: Profound Disability, Theological Anthropology, and Ethics. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.

Vulnerable Communion: a Theology of Disability and Hospitality by Thomas E. Reynolds

Reynolds argues that the Christian story is one of strength coming from weakness, of wholeness emerging from brokenness, and of power in vulnerability. He offers valuable biblical, theological, and pastoral tools to understand and welcome those with disabilities. Vulnerable Communion will be a useful resource for any student, theologian, church leader, or layperson seeking to discover the power of God revealed through weakness.
The Question of Access: Disability, Space, Meaning by Tanya Tichkosky

Through narratives of struggle and analyses of policy and everyday practices, Tanya Titchkosky shows how interpretations of access reproduce conceptions of who belongs, where and when. Titchkosky examines how the bureaucratization of access issues has affected our understanding of our lives together in social space. Representing ‘access’ as a beginning point for how disability can be rethought, rather than as a mere synonym for justice, The Question of Access allows readers to critically question their own implicit conceptions of disability, non-disability, and access.
Theology and Down Syndrome: Reimaging Disability in Late Modernity by Amos Yong

While the struggle for disability rights has transformed secular ethics and public policy, traditional Christian teaching has been slow to account for disability in its theological imagination. Amos Yong crafts both a theology of disability and a theology informed by disability. The result is a Christian theology that not only connects with our present social, medical, and scientific understanding of disability but also one that empowers a set of best practices appropriate to our late modern context.

Le Nostre Porte sono Aperte (Italian)

Il progetto Le nostre porte sono aperte è stato sviluppato per offrire idee semplici e creative per le comunità di diverse religioni per accogliere le persone con disabilità e invitarle a partecipare attivamente ai servizi religiosi, agli eventi e ad altre attività.

Nuove voci sfidano vecchi modi di vedere e comprendere la disabilità, l’accessibilità e l’inclusione. Il nostro team di esperti ha esperienza in materia di disabilità e ci ha aiutato a prestare particolare attenzione alle questioni di inclusione che le associazioni di persone con disabilità stanno attualmente discutendo.

La nostra visione

La nostra visione è che le persone con disabilità possano godere spiritualmente e praticare il loro credo partecipando attivamente insieme agli altri membri delle loro comunità.

Che cosa facciamo

Per dare veramente la possibilità alle persone con disabilità nelle nostre comunità di essere essi stessi agenti di cambiamento positivo, riconosciamo che ogni persona ha un ruolo nella nostra società. Le nostre porte sono aperte per aiutare tutte le comunità di fede a capire come aprire le loro menti, i loro cuori e le loro porte alle persone con tutte le abilità.

Seminario Le nostre porte sono aperte

Abbiamo realizzato questa presentazione Power Point che può essere usata come punto di partenza per qualsiasi comunità che voglia migliorare l’accessibilità e l’inclusione delle persone con disabilità. Puoi vedere le note su come gestire il seminario. Durante il seminario avrete bisogno della lista di controllo dell’accessibilità che è disponibile per il download qui sotto. Se avete domande, contattateci all’indirizzo email: info @ turci.biz

Guida per una comunità accessibile

La guida “Le nostre porte sono aperte” è stata sviluppata dall’Inclusive Design Research Centre della OCAD University per offrire alle diverse comunità religiose idee semplici e creative, per aiutare ad aumentare l’inclusione e l’accessibilità delle persone con disabilità durante le funzioni religiose, gli eventi e tutte le attività comunitarie. Sempre più spesso, nuove voci sfidano i vecchi approcci per comprendere e spiegare l’accessibilità e l’inclusione. All’interno di questa guida, abbiamo dato particolare attenzione alle questioni di inclusione sollevate dalle organizzazioni e dalle voci delle comunità di persone con disabilità.

Our Doors Are Open Course in OER COMMONS

Introduction

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are research, teaching and learning materials that are free to use because they are in the public domain or have an open license. OERs are part of a movement to support equal access to education and lifelong learning for everyone. Many people, including educators, learners, and publishers are developing, adapting, remixing and sharing OERs. An OER is like a growing plant; each shared adaptation and remix is a new unfurling leaf making the OER plant more robust. Each new openly-licensed resource is like a new plant. The more robust and varied the OERs, the more sustainable the OER ecosystem. Learners can thrive in an OER ecosystem when we design OERs inclusively to benefit all learners.

OER How-to-Our Doors Course:

For community members and learners:

  1. Find Our Doors Are Open Course 
  2. You can share it in your community.
  3. Use or adapt Our Doors for your community
  4. Share back your resources with the learning community using appropriate open licensing

For educational resource authors, developers, and designers:

  1. Create resources so copies can be easily made, parts can be reused, and content can be edited
  2. Design using inclusive practices and consider the accessibility of each content type. The idea is to provide different ways for content to work better in more situations. 
  3. Use open software and platforms available to learning and education communities
  4. Apply open licensing such as Creative Commons

Video Training for Accessible Congregations

This is a training video that acts as a starting point for faith communities that want to improve accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities. Communities are encouraged to follow along and use the free Our Doors Are Open Guide for Accessible Congregations in the resources sections.

Our Doors are Open Guide: Implementation Examples

Getting Started


Anglican Parish: Trinidad & Tobago

Contributed by Ashton Gomez

Introduction

Within our Caribbean context, some have said that we are a people found to be warm, energetic and inviting. While this may be true to some extent it would be wrong of me to say that this goes across the board. The people of the Caribbean have not been as open to dealing with issues that affect people living with disabilities. We have found ourselves in a world where politically correct language has begun to change our attitude towards people with disabilities. We are a developing nation and therefore many of the hurdles that we face are attitudinal and not necessarily that of resources.

Most places of worship do not cater to people with disabilities because for a very long time it has not been at the forefront of our psyche. I suppose that it has been inculcated into us that being born with a disability or developing a disability later in life, is some sort of punishment or generational curse that is being meted out by God for sins committed

I place this preamble here to present a context that is a reality within the Caribbean in varying degrees. It is slowly being dismantled through education and influences from other parts of the world.

Bearing all that was said above this would be the procedures that I would adopt for the congregation in which I serve.

Plan for forming a welcoming committee

1. Educating the members of our current welcoming committee with a better definition of who may be considered to be a person that has a disability. The range of which can be mild that it may appear that the person is not impaired in any way to the extreme that they may not be able to help themselves but nevertheless to ensure that the dignity of the person remains intact at all times. To assist in educating we shall seek the help of the Government as they have many persons with the professional insight to help us with the proper terms and skills that would be necessary to implement a functional team to meet the needs of an ever diverse community. This partnership will also allow us to access grants for modification of the church where it may be necessary to create a safe and welcoming environment for new members.

2. Sensitization of the congregation – this will be done to reduce and eventually remove the idea that disability is a taboo subject and that people that are living with a disability can contribute to the life of the church. It will also allow for prejudice to be dealt with and for “uncomfortable” questions to be addressed. We will have to involve the congregation in having an input as to how we can adjust the worship space to make persons will disabilities feel that they belong and that by being there they are are not seen or treated in an uncharitable way.

3. Implementation – after the training, sensitization and becoming educated on the different levels of disability we should;

a. Greet everyone so that no one feels that they are being treated differently from anyone else, that we would speak clearly and at a rate that is not too fast or use words that only a few may understand.

b. Have seats or spaces available in varying areas of the worship space that can be accessed by a wheelchair or one using aids for walking. It is not yet a common practice for persons who are blind to use guide dogs, this is another instance of how culture impacts upon how we function as a society.

c. Members of the welcoming committee should bring to the attention of another member of the committee any feelings of discomfort when carrying out their duty, this, however, should be done discreetly so as not to make a new member that may have a disability feel unwanted or unwelcome.

d. Introduce reading material for worship in larger print for those who have reduced vision, proper working sound system for those with diminishing hearing and an interpreter for those who are hearing impaired. Some of these issues can be dealt with under training so that new skills can be developed to make an even greater connection.

e. When inviting new members, we should find out if they would need any special assistance and also ask existing members who are differently-abled to be a part of the committee to better interpret the ways in which we can improve our hospitality to others that are differently-abled.

4. Monthly committee meetings will be scheduled to continue the assessment of what has been implemented, what may need to change and what we may need to do differently. Above all members will need to be reminded that the work will always need to be improved as we go along and may encounter new challenges.


Catholic Parish Church: Mzuzu Catholic. Malawi

Contributed by Fr. Austin Ndowera

Introduction

Inclusive celebrations are becoming so common in our churches. There are greater numbers of Christians with disabilities coming for worship these days. Transitioning Christians with disabilities from self-contained special worship to inclusive general worship in our churches here in Africa (Malawi) is not an overnight process. It requires thoughtful planning. Training, appropriate Christian supports, resources, personnel, and a meaningful individual educational program need to exist prior to the new church placement.

It’s also important to remember that if the Christian with disabilities has never experienced an inclusive worship, then chances are, neither has his or her fellow Christians. Christians in the general worship service might be curious about the situation, may feel anxious about having a Christian with disabilities in our churches here, or have misconceptions about Christians with disabilities. In my country here and especially in the parish I am working, we are far behind, I should admit.

Sometimes we intentionally avoid conversations with people with disabilities, citing ‘fear of causing offence’, ‘feeling uncomfortable’, or ‘not knowing what to talk about’ as the main reasons we worry about.

Here are some tips that I will have to help facilitate a smooth transition for Christians with disabilities to inclusive church worship. 

Tips to facilitate a smooth Transition (Via the Committee of Inclusion)

  • Establishing Basic Principles. Establish general concepts about Christians with and without disabilities through small Christian Community discussions. Primarily, I will help the Christians that:
  1. Everyone wants to belong and be included
  2. Everyone is different
  3. Everyone has areas of strengths and areas of weaknesses
  • Letting Christians share. Christians will be given an opportunity to talk about themselves, their strengths and interests You should allow others to ask questions. (I will make sure I talk about the types of questions that can be asked prior to the activity.)
  • Dispelling Myths. You should dis-spell any myths and misunderstandings about students with disabilities. Most importantly:
  1. That there are disabilities that you can see and some that you can’t;
  2. That physical disability does not determine a person’s intelligence; and
  3. That people with disabilities are people first.
  • Addressing Challenges. Address Christians’-specific issues that are important for the church members to know about in order to interact and learn alongside each other. For example, if a Christian has an allergy, you should invite a practician in to talk about allergies and the importance of keeping products that make people so out. If a Christian with disabilities communicates with a parent, you should ask the parent to give a demonstration.
  • Talking About the People We Know with a Disability. Point out that we all live, shop, drive and work beside a person with a disability at some point in our life.
  • Highlighting Famous People. Identify famous people with disabilities and highlight their contributions to society not as a source of inspiration but as an important to human growth.
  • Giving Disability Awareness Lessons

. Provide an opportunity for Christians to become more understanding of people with disabilities by giving disability awareness lessons.

  • Making A Positive Church Community. Establish and maintain a positive church community throughout the entire year. Encourage respect for one another, the use of appropriate language, and proactive social skills.

Conclusion

It will also be important to remind the community that discretion should be used when discussing the needs of Christians with disabilities with others. A conversation with the Christian prior to any of the above strategies can determine how comfortable the Christian is with sharing information about his or her disabilities. The sharing of information is not meant to put the Christian with disabilities “exposed”, but help others understand what the Christian needs in order to participate and participate well in a place of worship.


Ste-Thérèse Chapel: Canada

Contributed by Chantal Brien

Objective 

To document the results of a review of the availability of accessibility accommodations at the Ste-Thérèse Chapel.

Context

Ste-Thérèse Chapel is part of the Roman Catholic Military Ordinariate in Canada. The Parish is located on Canadian Forces Base Bagotville and shares a facility with the local Protestant community. The bulk of the community is made up of military members and their families, although civilian community members are welcome to, and do, attend. In general, the community is highly transient and attendees vary week to week with deployments and other military duties resulting in members being away unexpectedly. As a result, the community relies on everyone to welcome newcomers instead of having scheduled ushers.

Results

Evaluation PointWheelchair Access – Main Entry – Driveway
ResultWhile there is a separate driveway to a properly constructed ramp, there is minimal signage to indicate how newcomers who use mobility aids should access the driveway and ramp.
CommentGiven that part of the access is unidirectional for vehicle traffic, this could be confusing for someone unfamiliar with the parish and make them feel unwelcome.
Evaluation PointWheelchair Access – Main Entry – Parking
ResultWhile there is vehicle access to the ramp to the building, the parking lot is down a hill
CommentThis could present an obstacle to a person who uses a mobility aid who wishes to drive independently to mass. Additional parking should be added during the upcoming renovation.
Evaluation PointWheelchair Access – Seating
ResultThere are limited options for seating for people who use wheelchairs
CommentIncreasing the number of places where people who use wheelchairs could sit would allow them the same choice as other parishioners and allow them to participate fully
Evaluation PointWheelchair Access – Confession
ResultThe space where the priest offers Reconciliation is often up a curved set of stairs. With no elevator or chair lift, this presents a barrier to access to anyone who uses a mobility aid
CommentWhen completed, the planned building expansion project should make the office spaces, and consequently confession, more accessible
Evaluation PointWheelchair Access – Bathroom
ResultThe washroom has been designed to meet modern accessibility standards and is spacious enough to allow a power chair to turn
Comment=)
Evaluation PointWheelchair Access – Parish Hall
ResultWhile the space itself has been designed to allow people who use wheelchairs to move about freely, the doors are heavy and don’t have buttons to open them. Additionally, there is a lip that could impede access for someone with a wheelchair or rollator
CommentRetrofit of wheelchair buttons should be addressed during upcoming renovations
Evaluation PointWheelchair Access – Sacristy
ResultThere are stairs that prevent people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids from accessing this area
CommentWhen completed, the planned building expansion project should make the sacristy more accessible
Evaluation PointAssistive Listening Devices – Nave
ResultThere is a sound system that is consistently used during mass that would allow people who are Deaf/deaf or hard of hearing to use assistive devices.  
CommentAccording to Veteran’s Affairs Canada, hearing loss is either the first or second most common disability in all age categories of veterans. Given the population served by this parish, this is a critical accommodation to maintain. While physical infrastructure is in place, there are weeks where this system cannot be fully used by those present due to lack of knowledge.
Evaluation PointAssistive Listening Devices – Parish Hall
ResultThere is not a sound system for the parish hall
CommentGiven how common hearing loss is within the community, this is a significant issue. Additionally, since this is where children’s programs are conducted, this may present a barrier to inclusion for children who wish to participate in religious instruction.
Evaluation PointLarge Print Texts
ResultThere are large print texts available, but as this is a shared space, materials used by the Catholic community must be put away between masses. If the people setting up each Sunday don’t know that these exist, they won’t be sought out and placed within reach by the community
CommentThis could be improved by developing and making available a setup checklist or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
Evaluation PointText to Speech Programs
ResultDue to the transient nature of the community, an electronic bulletin board is used to communicate changes and announcements from week to week. Many of the announcements are created as text overlaid on an image and then published as an image. This process could render the information inaccessible to anyone using text to speech technology. (e.i. Screen readers)
CommentThis could be improved by developing and making available a standardized procedure that ensures that all announcements are formatted to be accessible to persons using text to speech technology
Evaluation PointSensory Barriers – Scents
ResultWhile it is possible to accommodate people who are sensitive to strong scents, or who experience breathing difficulties when exposed to incense, the knowledge of how to implement this accommodation is not common to all who attend the parish
CommentThis barrier to access to be ameliorated by educating the parish
Evaluation PointSensory Barriers – Reduced Stimulus
ResultWhile it is possible to accommodate people who tolerate bright lights and loud noises poorly, not everyone knows that the space is available
CommentThis barrier to access to be ameliorated by educating the parish
Evaluation PointRide Share Program
ResultThe community is very supportive of assisting with transport arrangements and is used to offering carpooling to injured parishioners. That said, this is arranged on an ad hoc basis and a prospective member of the community has no way of knowing that this support exists
CommentThis barrier could be removed by making mention of the rideshare program on the parish website

Conclusion

Broadly speaking, the barriers to full access at Ste-Thérèse Chapel fall into two general categories:

  1. Barriers for which an accommodation already exists but that may not be consistently available due to knowledge deficits; and
  2. Architectural and structural barriers, many of which should be resolved during planned renovations.

As there is currently a plan to undertake renovations to better allow the physical space to accommodate persons with disabilities, the next area of focus should be training and procedures to address knowledge barriers. Fixing these will allow Ste-Thérèse Chapel to improve access to everyone who might wish to join the parish.


St Benedict’s Parish, Ealing Abbey: London, UK

Contributed by Daniel Ferguson

Introduction

We face a challenging time in society where, as Cristina Gangemi says, “the disabled person’s life has never been more in danger.” She says, [Society] “is seeking to develop the perfect human person.” This renders the life of the disabled as something mechanistic. Oftentimes the response of many in Society is to see those with disabilities as weaker and their lives of less value. This has resulted in the disabled person’s life is at risk of abortion in the womb. In the UK, the only factor allowing parents to get a full-term abortion at 40 weeks gestation is for reasons of fatal disability. The paradox is that disabled people are protected by legislation that deems them “an equal and valued human being.”

Church’s Response

Our Church teaching stands opposed to this. In fact, our stance is juxtaposed. We see all life as a gift and our protection of all stems from the equal dignity given to every individual by God. St Paul’s words pierce the misconception of Society when he says “The members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.” (1 Corinthians 12:22). People with disabilities are often cut off from the Society’s body but in Christ’s body “they are indispensable.” We see in Jesus the reaching out to the marginalized and weak in order to call all back to love, back to himself, and to full participation in his life. Jesus shows us that the seemingly weaker members of society actually have a huge amount to teach us. We come to learn more from them than they from us.

According to Canon Law, there is a genuine equality of dignity among all of Christ’s faithful. This means that all people, in whatever capacity they are able to participate, build up the Body of Christ. (Code of Canon Law, 208).

In our English context, we take guidance from the pastoral document produced by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales called Valuing Difference. This document provides practical advice for promoting measures that allow the full participation of every individual. The document reminds us that we are all created in the image of God, with our own particular gifts. Our task, as members of the Church, is to translate Christ’s clear message of inclusion into practical inclusion, so that the contribution of each member is respected and nurtured. “Active participation needs to be accessible to all.” (page 3), because, “Part of the body of Christ is missing when any individual is excluded from Church life.” (Part 2, p.9).

Aim of Seminar Paper

Society often sees no or little value in the weakest. The Church’s teaching is clear on the dignity rendered to all by God. However, the Church faces the practical challenge of how best to serve those with disabilities. We must come to a point where we see disabled people with the eyes of God. It is God’s paradox that the physically weakest amongst us our oftentimes the strongest spiritually. The physically weak have much to teach us. We must be rooted in the conviction that our brothers and sisters with learning disabilities are indispensable parts of Christ’s Body. This conviction must bear fruit in practical tools to help the members of our communities who seem weaker to participate fully. They should have their rightful place in the very heart of the Church.

In this seminar, I will focus on the task of establishing procedures for welcoming new members, including members with disabilities. I will be looking to develop an overarching training resource for key Parishioners that will transform the way our Parish sees newcomers to our community.

About our Parish

http://www.ealingabbey.org.uk/

Overall Parish Goal

Bring about full participation of people with disabilities in the life of the Church and the full participation of the Church in the lives of people with disabilities

Practical Steps

  1. Form a team of people from different areas of Parish life. Including at least one current Parishioner with a disability
  2. Brainstorm ideas of how to reach all Parishioners in order to welcome and acquire their needs and desires (as not all disabilities are visible to others)
  3. Put in the place the practical means of reaching out to new members of the community to acquire their views
  4. Form a plan that is shaped by the feedback and not by any preconceived notions of what is required 

General Advice

We want our Church to:

  • Acknowledge the person as a whole (Spiritually, Physically, Emotionally, Socially, Intellectually).
  • Have a response to people in need that is one of love and mercy.
  • Have this response come not from feeling sorry for individuals but from recognizing their participation in the body of Christ.
  • See all people with the eyes of Christ.
  • Create an atmosphere that is accessible and welcoming to all so everyone feels like they belong.
  •  Be a missional Church that engages with persons with disabilities and a missional Church who is engaged by people with disabilities.
  • Put an end to isolation and disconnectedness of persons with disabilities and their families.
  • Nurture the spiritual lives of people with disabilities.
  • Encourage the gifts of people with disabilities so they can serve God fully and by extension serve the people around them (as the disabled people have their missionary calling too). 

Religious Community: Rome, Italy

Contributed by Sr. Gemma Tenedero Benavidez

Introduction

The usual barrier of inclusion for disabilities is people tend to look at their physical defects rather than their capacity to do things. Some people easily look at others by their appearances. I believe everyone is born with innate talents and along the way of life, we discover our skills regardless of our state of life. However In Discovering one’s talents and skills can be quite difficult. For me, it took many years to find out that I can play musical instruments. It was only inside the convent I discovered my talents and skills. More so helping others to find their talents and skills can be extremely difficult to figure out. However, some people discover their talents at a very early age while others remain hidden and never discovered thus those persons have no opportunity to find his talent and no one helps them or encourages them. So they need others for guidance to help them to find out their skills and talents. In my contribution, I chose the last activity  “If a person with disabilities is going to participate in one of your groups, focus on discovering their different skills and identifying ways they could contribute those gifts.”

Guide for Discovering their skills and talents such as:

  1. The community should always give time to follow and meet the newest members of the group to establish a good relationship and get to know them. Also to discover what is the good points of the person and also their weakness.
  2. The community should be aware of their likes and dislikes. Be mindful always the activity where they enjoy most. In this area of their life, we can help them identify their capability rather than their disability.
  3. The community should ask during the meeting who are interested in some particular task. Try to delegate them in some areas of responsibility. For example to learn musical instruments or doing art etc. Or ask who wants to sing the responsorial psalms or who wants to be a lector or commentator. Explaining to them that everyone is encouraged to participate for God’s glory. No one is exempted in spite of their disabilities.
  4. The community should always affirm them. Little things that they do affirm them. When they fail, encourage them. Explaining to them that these great things in the eyes of God. The purity of intention is always important never mind if they commit a mistake.
  5. The community will try to challenge them. Be creative. For example singing contest. However, remind them that the competition is just for recreation not to compete with one another. Then give them a reward who is the best as well the other contestants for their participation.
  6. Always nurture their spiritual life. Explaining to them that it is essential to share their talents and skills because this is a part of their mission here on earth to make others happy and also for the enrichment of their soul as well as their contribution to the society. Through this others get inspired to them in spite of their disabilities. 

Conclusion

Upon working on this paper, I came to realize and asked questions, why our congregation did not give the opportunity to reach out to people with disabilities? I know that every religious institution has its own charism. Like we Dominican, most of our apostolates are in the school, but I think this an opportunity to reach out to people with disabilities. This is a challenge for our congregation now a day.  I know there are some religious institutions who also taking care of people with disabilities. Thanks for their dedication to the apostolate.

Note: My experience of implementing or planning the activity in my community was extremely difficult. Why? As I have shared before during the conference, I have never encountered people with disabilities. I feel guilty and ashamed of myself. It’s sad I myself a religious member of a congregation should be the first one to help them and support them. But now where I am? Just staying inside the four walls of the convent. Honestly, it was really hard for me to finish this assignment because my contribution was not realistic it was just a matter of imagination. So it was difficult to figure out things which are not real. Thank you for this seminar that awakening my mind. I hope someday in God’s time our congregation will open this kind of apostolate not only concentrating in school. Who knows? I believed that everything happens for a reason. Perhaps now I don’t understand why I enrolled in this subject.


Sacred Heart Catholic Parish: Waltham, MA United States

Contributed by Sr. Mira Taurannang

Establish procedures for welcoming new members, including members with disabilities

Poster to promote procedures for welcoming new members, including members with disabilities.
Step 1: Welcome Committee
Step 2: Listening. Image of two persons in conversation.
Step 3: Discover Talents. Image of different titles, i.e. abilities, strengths, talents, today...
Step 4: Inclusion! Drawing of people holding hands.
Step 5: Get involved. Drawing of 6 hands of different sizes and colours.

Discuss your experience implementing or planning the activity in your community

I was impressed with the positive response I received from my parish community when I asked whether they have their/any procedures in place for welcoming new members, including members with disabilities. According to my parish pastor, Rev. Father Dennis Wheatley OFM, the parish has always been welcoming to anyone regardless of where they come from, their age or their abilities. He put extra emphasis on parish policies especially when it comes to people with disabilities. The Parish has different groups that are active in the life of the parish like the Knights of Columbus and St. Claire’s prayer group to name some. The new members are encouraged to join these groups if they want to – it is up to the new members to take part in the activities of the parish. The parish has different events/activities that welcomed every parishioner to take part/join. At the Parish church, there are priority seats reserved at (front rows) for people with wheelchairs, ramps at the parish hall and church. Lastly, there are rails for elderly people or for those who wished to use rails. 

Listening to Father’s sharing on the life of the parish, I get the impression that the five procedures I proposed (see the infographic) have already been put into place in all areas of the life of the parish. The first step I suggest is to “Establish a welcoming committee,” this committee consists of few designated parishioners who are responsible for taking care and making sure that the new members, including members with disabilities, are welcomed and included into the faith community. This welcoming committee works very closely with the parish pastor. The new members are encouraged to fill in a form that is available at the parish office for their information, contacts, etc. 

The second and third steps would be a challenge to carry out since it really needs a lot of attention, patience and energy, though it would not be a barrier. “Listen/pay attention to the needs of new members, including members with disabilities” and “Discover new members’ talents and gifts.” Listening is really a gift to have and it takes a while to master it. It demands a person to fully engage in conversation or dialogue not only with a listening ear rather, a listening heart. However, the parish has assigned some people who have expertise in helping young adults or even families who have problems. Individuals or families can be free to share in this space knowing that someone is willing to listen to them with a compassionate heart without judgement. 

“Include children with disabilities in CCD Classes and prayers groups” is the fourth step, which emphasizes on Catechesis. The parish already has a special program in place to answer to the needs of children/adults with disabilities. For example; the CCD Classes – once a month, the Parish has what it called an “autistic teaching mass” formed especially for autistic children to teach them about the symbols used during the mass. These children also have special large print hymn books and other materials accessible for their needs. 

Lastly, the fifth step, which is really about, “getting involved, participation and contribution,” in the life of the parish/faith community. This is the ultimate goal of the whole project of including new people into our places of worship. The new members first, should feel the sense of being welcomed and accepted into the faith/parish community. If only the needs are met in the first four steps that the fifth step can take root in the life of the new members, including members with disabilities. Each member of a faith community has a part to play. We are always challenged to open wide our doors to welcome new members and people who are different from us.   

Conclusion

First and most importantly, a faith community should be open to the new members, including members with disabilities with understanding and without judgment. Barriers could be hindrances to this openness. However, each community member is challenged to step up and change his/her attitude towards people with disabilities. The needs of individuals vary according to their disability(ies), therefore, there should be programs put in place to cater to the needs of the new members, especially members with disabilities. The faith community will need to be prepared to individualize programs to meet the needs of an individual, teach the beliefs/faith in a language that they understand, for example; a braille or large print books for the visually impaired, and to promote participation within the congregation. These are some areas that I plan to implement into the parish/faith community programs. There is a lot to be done in regards to people with disabilities; however, each parish/faith community needs to play its role at every level, locally, nationally and internationally in promoting inclusiveness and accessibility. Therefore, an inclusive community of faith requires commitment and participation of the full community.

Nuestras Puertas están abiertas (Spanish)

El projecto “Nuestras puertas están abiertas” fué desarrollado para ofrecer simples y creativas ideas para que comunidades de diferentes religiones puedan recibir a personas con discapacidades, e invitarlas a que participen activamente en los servicios religioses, eventos y demas actividades.

Nuevas voces desafian antiguas formas de ver y entender la discapacidad, la accessibilidad y la inclusíon. Nuestro equipos de expertos tienen experiencia propia con respecto al tema de discapacidad, y nos han ayudado a prestar especial atención a los temas de inclusión que las asociaciones de personas con discapacidades discuten actualmente.

Nuestra visión

Nuestra visión es que las personas con discapacidades puedan disfrutar espiritualmente y practicar sus creencias participando activamente junto con otros miembros de sus comunidades.

Que hacemos

Para realmente darle espacio a las personas con discapacidades en nuestras comunidades para que pueden ser ellos mismos agentes de cambios positivos, nosotros reconocemos que cada persona tiene un rol en nuestra sociedad. Nuestras puertas están abiertas ayuda a toda comunidad creyente a entender como abrir sus mentes, sus corazones y sus puertas a personas con todo tipo de habilidades.

Taller Nuestras puertas están abiertas

Hemos realizado esta presentation “Power Point” que puede ser utilizada como punto de partida para cualquier comunidad que quiera mejorar la accesibilidad y la inclusión para personas con discapacidades. Usted puede ver notas de como llevar adelante el taller.

Durante el taller necesitará el listado de accesibilidad que se encuentra disponible para descargar mas abajo. Si tiene alguna consulta contactenos a dpereyra@ocadu.ca.

Luego de haber realizado el taller, los invitamos a agregar su comunidad en la sección de comunidades que participan en Nuestras Puertas están abiertas >>> COMUNIDADES PARTICIPANTES.

Guía para comunidades accesibles

La guía “Nuestras puertas están abiertas” ha sido elaborada por el Centro de Investigación de Diseño Inclusivo del Ontario College of Art & Design University para ofrecer a las diversas comunidades religiosas de Ontario ideas sencillas y creativas que ayuden a aumentar la inclusión y la accesibilidad de las personas con discapacidad durante los servicios religiosos, los eventos y todas las actividades comunitarias. Cada vez más, nuevas voces desafían los viejos enfoques para entender y explicar la accesibilidad y la inclusión. En esta guía, hemos prestado especial atención a las cuestiones de inclusión planteadas por las organizaciones y las voces de las comunidades de personas con discapacidad.

Continuing Our Work

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) announced that it will fund Our Doors are Open as one of 17 grants to Teacher-Scholars for 2021-2022 as part of its Vital Worship Grants Program.

Our Doors are Open will use this funding for:

  • Co-designing and delivering online Our Doors workshops
  • Collaborating with faith communities
  • Creating a reference guide on online accessibility for Canadian Faith Communities.
  • Translating the Our Doors are Open Guide to Spanish

For more information on the grants program, including a complete list of this year’s grants recipients, please see https://worship.calvin.edu/grants/

Accessible Congregations Training Package

Our Doors Are Open helps faith communities by stimulating what we call “inclusive thinking”; this new worldview allows communities to reach out to members with disabilities and enable their full participation. Through Our Doors Are Open training package, the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University offers guidance to all faith communities.

The Open Your Doors “community-inclusion” workshop is designed specifically to help individual faith-communities. It enables communities to:

  • Develop what we call “inclusive thinking,”
  • Reach out to their members with disabilities
  • Engage those members in full participation
  • Discuss ways to create accessible media and communications
  • Assess the physical and social inclusivity of a faith-community.

Our interactive program includes:

 Accessibility is much more than the built environment; it is important to include it in the things we do inside and outside our places of worship. We know that many communities are thinking about accessibility and making changes, but we understand that that implementation is not easy.

ਆਪਣੇ ਭਾਈਚਾਰੇ ਨੂੰ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਹੋਰ ਪਹੁੰਚਯੋਗ ਬਣਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ। (Punjabi)

1)   ਕਮੇਟੀ ਬਣਾਓ

ਇੱਕ ਕਮੇਟੀ ਬਣਾਉਂਣੀ ਚਾਹੀਦੀ ਹੈ ਜਿਹੜੀ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਜ਼ਰੂਰਤਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝਦੀ ਹੈ। ਇਹ ਕਮੇਟੀ ਅਪਾਜ ਅਤੇ ਬਜੁਰਗਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਸਮੱਸਿਆਵਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝਦੀ ਹੈ।

ਕਮੇਟੀ ਮੀਟਿੰਗ ਦੀਆਂ ਕੁਝ ਸੁਜਾਵਾਂ

  • ਘੱਟੋ ਘਟ ਸਾਲ ਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਤਿੰਨ ਵਾਰੀ ਮਿਲੋ।
  • ਜਿਹੜੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਕੋਲ ਡਿਸੇਬਿਲਟੀ ਹੈ, ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਜਰੂਰਤਾਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਗੱਲਬਾਤ ਕਰੋ।
  • ਜਿਹੜੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਕੋਲ ਡਿਸੇਬਿਲਟੀ ਹੈ, ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਮੁਸ਼ਕਲਾਂ ਦਾ ਹੱਲ ਲੱਭੋ।
  • ਯੋਜਨਾਵਾਂ ਬਣਾਓ ਤਾਂ ਜੋ ਸਾਡਾ ਭਾਈਚਾਰਾ ਡਿਸੇਬਿਲਟੀ ਵਾਲੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਅਪਨਾ ਸਕੇ।

2)   ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਦੀ ਪਹਿਚਾਣ ਕਰੋ

ਜਦੋਂ ਧਾਰਮਿਕ ਭਾਈਚਾਰੇ ਦੀਆਂ ਸਹੂਲਤਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਰੀਤਾਂ ਵਿਚ ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਆਉਂਦੀਆਂ ਹਨ, ਉਹ ਭਾਈਚਾਰਾ ਆਪਣੇ ਵਿਚਾਰਾਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਦੱਸ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ।  ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਭਾਈਚਾਰੇ ਵਿਚ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਪਛਾਣਨ ਅਤੇ ਹਟਾਉਂਣ ਦੀ ਲੋੜ ਹੈ।

ਇਹ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਰਕੇ “Accessiblity Checklist” ਨੂੰ ਪੜ੍ਹੋ। ਇਹ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ ਤਿੰਨ ਕਿਸਮਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਦੱਸਦਾ ਹੈ: ਸੋਚ, ਸੰਚਾਰ, ਅਤੇ ਇਮਾਰਤ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਬਣੀ ਹੈ।

3)   ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸੁਲਝਾਉਂਣ ਲਈ ਯੋਜਨਾ ਬਣਾਓ

ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਦੀ ਪਛਾਣ ਕਰਨ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ, ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦਾ ਹੱਲ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਯੋਜਨਾ ਬਣਾਓ। ਕੁਝ ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਦਾ ਹੱਲ ਕਰਨਾ ਸੌਖਾ ਹੋਵੇਗਾ ਅਤੇ ਦੂਸਰੀਆਂ ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਵਧੇਰੇ ਸਮਾਂ ਲੱਗੇਗਾ।

ਹੋਰ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ ਲਈ “Our Doors are Open: Guide for Accessible Congregations” ਨੂੰ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਰਕੇ ਪੜ੍ਹੋ।

ਯੋਜਨਾ ਬਣਾਉਣ ਲਈ ਕੁਝ ਸੁਜਾਵਾਂ

  1. ਜਿਹੜੇ ਆਈਟਮਾਂ ਨੂੰ “Not Yet” “Accessiblity Checklist” ਵਿਚ ਟਿਕ ਮਾਰਕ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ, ਉਹਨਾਂ ਸਵਾਲਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਧਿਆਨ ਨਾਲ ਦੇਖੋ।
    ਆਪਣੀ ਕਮੇਟੀ ਨਾਲ ਗੱਲ ਬਾਤ ਕਰਕੇ ਆਈਟਮਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਬਦਲਣ ਦਾ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਕਰੋ। ਜਿਹੜੇ
  2. ਆਈਟਮਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਤਰਤੀਬ ਵਿਚ ਚੁਣੋ। ਤੁਸੀਂ ਸੌਖੇ ਆਈਟਮਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਚੁਣ ਸਕਦੇ ਹੋ।
  3. ਹਰੇਕ ਆਈਟਮ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਪਤਾ ਕਰੋ ਕਿ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਕਿਹੜੀਆਂ ਚੀਜਾਂ ਦੀ ਲੋੜ ਹੈ।
  4. ਇਕ ਯੋਜਨਾ ਬਣਾਉ।
  5. ਭਾਈਚਾਰੇ ਦੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਗੱਲਬਾਤ ਕਰੋ। ਹੋਰ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ ਲਈ ਸਾਡੀ ਵੈਬਸਾਈਟ, opendoors.idrc.ocadu.ca/ ਨੂੰ ਪੜੋ।

Becoming a Welcoming Community

This sections contains a summarized translation into Punjabi of the three ways to start making your faith community accessible, 1) create an inclusion or disability awareness committee, 2) identify barriers and 3) make a plan. Also included in this document is a summarized English version of the translation. This document was designed to be a quick summary of pages 12-17 of the Our Doors are Open Guide for Accessible Congregations that can be accessed at https://opendoors.idrc.ocadu.ca/guide-for-accessible-congregation/