Resources for Disability Awareness Week 2022

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Let's end #AbleismAtChurch

Conversations about diversity and equity have become front and center in recent years, but ableism has often been left out of the conversation. By shedding light on ableist practices, churches can improve their hospitality in ways that communicate each person’s worth, dignity, and value.

Definitions of ableism are complex and layered: 

  • Attitudes, actions, and/or circumstances that devalue people because they have a disability or are perceived as having a disability.
  • Intentional or unintentional discrimination or oppression of disabled individuals.
  • Anything that positions a person without a disability over a person with a disability, solely based on disability or differences in ability.
  • Attitudes, actions, or systems that consider a person with a disability as inferior.

Take this short quiz to consider ways in which ableism shows up in churches and everyday life for people with disabilities:

Select true or false for each of the following statements

True or False?
1. Hymns and liturgies regularly equate disabilities such as blindness and deafness with sin, and Christians have told individuals their disability is a result of sin in their life. 

True or False?
2. Families of children with atypical, disability-related behaviors are often asked to leave and find a church that better meets their needs. 

True or False?
3. Individuals who were taught ableist beliefs as children usually grow out of them. 

True or False?
4. In the social model of disability, individuals with disabilities have deficits that need fixing.

True or False?
5. Ableist beliefs and behaviors don’t raise red flags because they’re woven into the fabric of everyday life and simply accepted as the norm. 

True or False?
6. Many disabled people have been led to believe that their lives are not worth living. 

True or False?
7. People with disabilities are not ableist toward other disabled people.

Quiz answers:

  1. True.
  2. True.
  3. False—people may retain ableist beliefs they were taught as children unless challenged by exposure or education.
  4. False—the medical model of disability tries to fix the individual; the social model says we ourselves create most barriers to participation.
  5. True.
  6. True.
  7. False—unless they’ve worked hard not to be, disabled people can be just as ableist as anyone.

Join us for further conversations to end #AbelismAtChurch:

August 4 to 6: Inspire 2022 Workshop: What Your Church Can Do About Ableist Practices

August 11 to 12: Annual Disability Concerns Leadership Training Event (hosted virtually this year from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM). All are welcome (more info to come!)

October 9: Disability Awareness Sunday for all RCA Churches

October 16: Disability Awareness Sunday for all CRC churches 

To access our 2022 Disability Awareness Sunday Bulletin in Spanish visit: 2022 Disability Awareness Bulletin - Spanish

To access our 2022 Disability Awareness Sunday Bulletin in Korean visit: 2022 Disability Awareness Bulletin - Korean

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