A new resource pack to help churches better support people with disabilities has recently be produced by the diocese and churches across the British Isles.
The resource pack, called ‘A Welcoming Church’, has been produced by the Diocese of Leeds in collaboration with Dublin and Glendalough Youth Officer Susie Keegan, and The Church of Ireland Youth Department.
It aims to help churches think about how they might better support people with different disabilities in the church environment.
Katherine-Alice Grasham, Diocesan Disability Officer, said: “We’re really hoping that this new resource will be a way to start parishes thinking about small changes that they can do to make a big difference to disabled people.
“This resource is not just a tick-box exercise, it’s designed to start conversations and get people thinking together about accessibility and welcome.”
The 14-page pack includes general tips on how to welcome people with disabilities, and suggestions, provided as A4 posters, for how parishes can provide for people who may have disabilities including dyslexia; hearing impairment or deafness; visual impairment or blindness; autism, neurodiversity and cognitive disorders; mobility difficulties or who are using a wheelchair; anxiety and mental illness; dementia; asthma and allergies; and chronic pain or illness.
The resource was made by disabled people in consultation with disabled people, and was born out of discussions at disability awareness training between children and youth officers who have a passion for disability inclusion within the Church.
You can find the resource at www.awelcomingchurch.com
Readers who wish to raise an issue, suggest an alternation or addition, or flag up something, are encouraged to email the team at awelcomingchurch [at] gmail.com