Resources

Disability ministry resources are available for advocates, worship planners, and church staff covering topics related to caring, accessibility and awareness, mental health and more.

Accessibility This section includes several articles specifically about accessible communication and accessible facilities.

Advocacy Find resources on raising awareness and helping congregations become more welcoming communities.

Attitudes Attitudes lay the foundation of our actions. Find resources that address underlying attitudes towards people with disabilities and ways to promote positive change. 

Autism Autism is on the rise. Find resources and ideas for including children with autism as well as support for families.

Children and Youth Children with disabilities are part of God’s family but aren’t always treated that way. Find resources for boys and girls clubs, Sunday school, youth groups, and families, including videos for training staff and volunteers. Additional ideas can also be found in Parents and Family, Congregational Care, and Advocacy.

Congregational Care People with disabilities can be isolated. Find resources on embracing differences and offering support to individuals and families that are living with disabilities. Resources for Congregational Care can be found under more than one topic on The Network. Searching the keywords congregation, care, and support will bring you more Congregational Care resources.

Disability Week We encourage churches to celebrate Disability Week October 10 through 16, 2016, and any other time is great too. 

Hearing Hearing loss can range from mild to profound. Churches have many options to make it possible for people with visual impairments to participate fully in church life including hearing loops and distributing sermon manuscripts.

Intellectual Disabilities According to AAIDD, these are disabilities “characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and inadaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills.”

Mental Health About 25 percent of all people will experience a diagnosable mental illness sometime in our lifetimes. Find resources here for yourself and for ministering with people with mental health issues in your church. 

Parents and Family The challenges of raising a child with a disability are significant for parents. Check out these resources to better understand those challenges and to find suggestions for ministry.

Physical Disabilities People living with physical disabilities may need to use a cane or wheelchair, but these disabilities can be “hidden” from others too such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Theology Scripture has a great deal to say about disability. Thinking theologically about disability helps us better understand the personal and societal implications of this aspect of human life.

Vision A visually impaired person's eyesight cannot be corrected to a “normal level”. Churches have many options to make it possible for people with visual impairments to participate fully in church life.

Worship - We have a variety of worship resources to help you plan a service or series of services that emphasize God’s wide, welcoming love for all people including people with various disabilities. Check out specific types of resources:

Still can't find what you need? Start a discussion or post a question on The Network by clicking the "Start a New Post" box, and choosing "Discussion Topic" or "Q&A" as your "Type."

Books We Love

Here are the books we love to recommend for your church and ministries.

Inclusion Handbook - Everybody Belongs, Everybody Serves  This booklet helps church leaders and members welcome and engage people with disabilities in the life of the church. The second edition includes articles by disability advocates from several Christian traditions. Also available in eBook format.
Edited by Terry A. DeYoung and Mark Stephenson

A Compassionate Journey - Coming Alongside People With Disabilities or Chronic Illnesses A guidebook to help congregations care for people dealing with disabilities and other long-term needs.
By John Cook

Read this for free in the CRC Digital Library

Autism and Your Church - Nurturing the Spiritual Growth of People with Autism Spectrum Disorder This revised and updated edition of a trusted resource will help your church welcome people with autism into the full life of your congregation.
By Barbara J. Newman

Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities Now newly revised, this book gives you practical tips for helping students welcome children who have disabilities into their classes at church or at school.
By Barbara J. Newman