This journey started over thirty years ago when we received a call from a mom who asked us if her son could come to our church. Today, twenty five percent of our congregation is persons with developmental disabilities.
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We started captioning videos for people with disabilities. It turns out this also helps a bunch of other people.
Mark Wafer grew up with a hearing impairment, so he knows disability from the inside. When he began purchasing Tim Hortons franchises, he decided that he would hire people whom he believed would work well, whether or not they had a disability.
Our summer issue of Breaking Barriers featured articles on recreation and disability. Here's one, by Wendy Wassink, about the miracles God wrought to make it possible for her son Shawn to play hockey on a team. Other articles highlight therapeutic riding, summer camp, and more.
About 10 years ago, the Greater Palisades classis of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) offered their denomination $25,000 to start an RCA disability ministry. This substantial offer prompted the RCA General Synod Council (GSC) to investigate the possibility of working closely with CRC Disability Concerns.
The briefcase moved with us over the years and eventually ended up in the basement of our current home. As I brought the briefcase upstairs, its usefulness was apparent. It was dirty, ripped, and rusted in its hardware. But now it was destined to go in the trash. I noticed that it still had something inside.
I am almost totally isolated, as my son who lives locally sees me near Mother's day, my birthday and near Christmas. We have been doing the drive thru and eating in his car for a few years. It works quite well, tho there are some frags to deal with after. Even with this limited exposure, I am doing physical harm, but a mom needs to see her family.
Do people think that wheel chairs have only one wheel, and they can get through this? I was wishing on everyone that had not cleared their curb cuts or shoveled their sidewalks that they would have to spend one day in a wheelchair so they would get a better understanding on how hard it is to get around when you do not shovel.
The most common symbol for accessibility features an image of someone in a wheelchair—lifeless, helpless, passive. Temporarily able-bodied people tend to look at people who have disabilities that way, seeing need without recognizing capability and giftedness. A new icon pushes that stereotype aside.
In 1985, I received a spinal cord injury. Now I can control my body only from the neck up. At the time of the injury, computers were mainly used in large offices. Few homes had them, and they were not linked together outside of an organization. Technology has greatly changed since that time, especially in what is now common, the Internet.
Chris said that when his parents gave him his first voice synthesizer, he went from not speaking to talking in complete sentences in one day. I praise God for Christian leaders like Chris who can speak so articulately. He talks about disability, of course, but more importantly, he talks about what it means to be human.
When Frank Eckl and his family sat down for dinner at Don Julio’s restaurant last November, they had no idea this decision would begin a series of events that would result in the arrest of a young woman and the closing of the restaurant.
With a severe impairment, a person is disabled by the environment and may not be able to participate because of what we build and create. The failure to proactively provide efficient, timely, reasonable accommodation is measurable disability discrimination. As James said, show me your works.
James Soliday, a former employee of 7-Eleven who has 95 percent hearing loss, managed several stores effectively for many years, but was terminated, it seems, because a new supervisor was not willing to accommodate for his hearing loss as his supervisors had in the past.
Some people might think that worshipers who stay in their cars for the service are too lazy or antisocial to get out of their cars to worship the Lord. But this unusual setting for worship may be the only way that some are able to attend worship on a regular basis.
Exciting things can happen when a large group of people sit behind computers and listen to long speeches that are guided by somewhat arcane rules of order. That’s true every year at the annual meeting of the Christian Reformed Churches, which we call Synod. This year, to me, the most exciting decision came out of the Faith Formation Committee report.
People with disabilities face "Social deprivation" in a variety of ways due to architectural, communication, and attitudinal barriers in church and society. But as we reduce those barriers in the church, we begin to meet one of the greatest challenges that people with disabilities face. When the church does so, the church fulfills