Top 10 Ways Churches Can Include People With Disabilities

At General Synod 30 in Cleveland, Ohio, June 26th – June 30th UCCDM participated in the Friday night worship service.  Our participation included our Chair Rev. Lynda Bigler and Vice Chair Rev. Jeanne Tyler presenting the Top 10 Ways Churches Can Include People With Disabilities.  Received with overwhelming response by attendees we are republishing them.  You can find out more about the Chair Rev. Lynda Bigler and Vice Chair Rev. Jeanne Tyler on our board member page.  

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  1. Provide rides for people who can’t get there on their own.
  2. Add a T-coil loop system for those who don’t hear well.
  3. Provide 22 pt font large print bulletins.
  4. Provide wheelchair cutouts with GOOD views of the chancel.
  5. Do not judge noisy or squirmy adults or children.  Leave them be!
  6. Have accessible bathrooms people can get to without having to go OUTSIDE to get there.
  7. Invite people with disabilities to sing in the choir, ring bells, and read scripture in worship.
  8. Invite people with disabilities to take leadership roles.
  9. Learn how to include people with intellectual disabilities.
  10. Be WISE. Welcoming. Inclusive. Supportive. Engaging.

3 thoughts on “Top 10 Ways Churches Can Include People With Disabilities

    • To whom it may concern:
      This list is about including all people with disabilities in the life of the church–those with mental health concerns and those without. The list specifically addresses inclusion of people with mental health challenges with #10 which references the WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supporting, Engaging) Resolution which the UCCDM proposed and saw adopted at the recent UCC Synod 30 in Cleveland, OH.

      The UCCDM aims to include all people in the life of the Church and congregations. For many years UCCDM fostered work around mental health inclusion in the churches, as mental health is classified as a disability according to the ADA. In 2014 the UCC Mental Health Network, which had been a subcommittee of UCCDM, officially separated from the UCCDM with the hope that more focus could come to their work if the were an independent entity. See the press release about the growth of the UCCDM and UCCMHN ministries for more details.The UCCMHN has a website: http://mhn-ucc.blogspot.com/

      The UCCDM and UCCMHN continue to partner in many ways. The WISE resolution passed at Synod is one example. Another is the annual Widening the Welcome Conference. We hope to see you in Hartford!

  1. Thank you for posting this. Unfortunately even our churches in the U.C.C.need to be reminded of these “10 Ways.”

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