Here are answers to some FAQ's about hearing loops such as "How many Americans live with hearing loss?" and "Why are hearing loops needed? Don’t hearing aids enable hearing?"
The Christian Reformed Church made an express commitment at the 1985 meeting of the Synod to break down barriers and work for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the life of the congregation. The following is the wording of that commitment.
I know a bare minimum of sign language so I sat, unable to understand the near silent conversations around me. I could have asked for a translator or requested that people go a little slower. But I was reluctant to do this. Why should I impose my single handicap on an entire group of people? Is this how a deaf person feels?
At the Disability Concerns Canada Spring Conference in 2010, featured speaker, Barbara Newman, shared great ideas for including people with disabilities in the full life of the church. Much of what she talked about can be found in the Church Services division section of the CLC Network website. Here are a few examples.
Here are the five titles (summaries of major requirements included) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
As many grains are gathered into one loaf, partaking of the elements binds God’s people together into one. Ironically, when church leaders ignore the unique needs of worshipers with disabilities, some are excluded from the sacrament whose very name includes the word union.
CIRRIE has developed a thirteen-volume monograph series, The Rehabilitation Provider's Guide to Cultures of the Foreign-Born, which provides specific information on cultural perspectives of foreign-born persons in the U.S., especially recent immigrants.
What can we do to begin to sincerely welcome everyone who seeks fellowship with God through our own congregations? Here are some simple first steps.
In 1993 the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) in North America went on record to heartily recommend full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). What is the ADA really about?
The medical, educational, and social service communities give labels to people such as “autism,” “cerebral palsy,” “dementia,” and “macular degeneration.” As advocates for people with disabilities, we must encourage people in our churches to focus on people and relationships and not be overly concerned with labels.
Our calling as disability advocates is to carry on Jesus’ work so that all people, especially people with disabilities, will be welcomed to the body of Christ and encouraged to use their gifts in ministry. The Scriptures provide us with a basic foundation for this work.
The idea of including people with disabilities in church life can sound overwhelming when someone doesn't know where to begin. Most of the following ideas are easily implemented and at minimal cost.
The CRC and the Reformed Church in America collaborated to produce this resource. Use the attached file to print and hang in your church.
This article discusses questions on the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)—WHAT is the difference between helping people with disabilities as the church has always done (and still does) and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)? WHY do we need the ADA? And more.
If it is true that people are excluded from church for social- skill reasons, what changes might be instituted within the social environment that would benefit not only persons with disabilities but the larger population as well? What “social ramp” would cause more people to have access and find social acceptance?
Meditating on Luke 9:50 this morning. Jesus said, “Whoever is not against you is for you.” Sometimes advocacy gets wearisome. It seems like one has to keep pushing constantly to see movement in inclusion of people with disabilities in churches, society, and other people’s lives. My temptation over time is to see most people as being against the work that Disability Concerns stands for. But Jesus pulls me up short on that temptation. “No,” he says, “Whoever is not against you is for you.” That turns the tide. Since most people are not against inclusion, they must be for it.