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MISSION

THE MINISTRY WITH PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES works to ensure meaningful participation for individuals with disabilities and their families in all aspects of the life of the Church.

 

WHO WE ARE

We are individuals, parents, family members, caregivers, educators, DREs, catechists, parishioners, volunteers, priests, religious, parish and diocesan staff.

WHAT WE DO

We are committed to serve and respond to requests from anyone - pastors, parish staffs, teachers, catechists, parents, parishioners, individuals - seeking to make a difference for children and adults with disabilities in our parish communities and throughout the diocese. 

THE IMPACT OF OUR WORK:

SACRAMENTS
  • Provided a low -sensory Bi-lingual Confirmation Mass for teens​ in the diocese

  • Sacramental prep for children with cognitive disabilities

 

  • Sacramental prep for adults with cognitive disabilities 

  • Obtaining Loyola Press Adaptive Sacramental Prep Kits through Legacy of Faith

  • Creating helpful materials like the FAQ page, that clearly state the USCCB's Guidelines for Persons with Disabilities preparing and receiving sacraments

  • Working with numerous parents, pastors, educators, parish staffs, and diocesan personnel to provide accommodations needed for a child or adult to receive religious education

  • Sharing adaptive resources created by DRE's and catechists with others preparing a child or adult for a sacrament

SERVE
  • Offering Sensory-Friendly Masses at several parishes throughout the diocese

 

  • Finding creative ways for people to serve in their parish when physical accommodations are not possible ex. bringing down the microphone to a lector who is not able to access the Sanctuary in a wheelchair or having an extraordinary minister bring the paten down to a fellow parishioner who wishes to continue distributing Holy Eucharist but is unable to manage steps

 

  • Helping parishes provide: 

    • low-gluten hosts    

    • Blood of Christ from a  separate chalice

  • Providing optional space for someone to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation when the confessional is too small to accommodate a wheelchair

  • Providing children and adults with a chance to be a lector or server by allowing a family member/parish staff to  accompany individual to ambo for support or to stay with and help guide the server during Mass

COMMUNITY
  • LOOP (Assisted Listening System)

  •  Physical   Accommodations: 

    • adding accessible parking spots     

    • wheelchair accessible                 entrances and bathrooms 

    • cut-out pews in several areas  of the church and chapel

    • ramps                           

    • signage

 

  • Asking the people who would benefit  from  the accommodations for input 

 

  • Parish Assessment:       

    • consider what you are doing well   

    • areas for improvement

    • practical next steps 

  • Promoting accommodations provided at the parish:   

    • weekly bulletin            

    • parish website           

    • registration process (on-line or paper form)                   

    • flyers

 

"The whole Church must continue to seek to remove any obstacles to your full and active participation in the life of the Church. Catholics are much poorer when we do not experience and receive your gifts which help build up the Body of Christ, the Church, at every level: parish, diocese and beyond. The Church is stronger when the gifts of all are welcomed and when a true spirit of mutual love extends to all, without discrimination.            - Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades