Making Church Accessible For All

Disability Steering Group (DSG) is made up of people who have an interest in Disability from a familial, employment and theological background. It is our vision that the church will be an inclusive community for all regardless of their abilities or circumstances.

HOW DO WE BECOME AN INCLUSIVE CHURCH?

OWN IT.

“The most important strategy a church can put in place is to appoint someone who ‘owns’ inclusion. Someone who will look critically at the things the church does through the lived experiences of the children and families you reach. What is hard for them to access? What modifications could easily be made to improve things? Ideally, this role would be held by someone with a lived experience of additional needs or disability, either in their own lives or as a Carer, to ensure inclusion is done with and not to anyone being supported. Inclusion champions provide a primary point of contact for those with additional needs, but the rest of the team must also be involved.”- Mark Arnol

(Mark Arnold is additional needs ministry director at Urbans Saints and co-founder of the Additional Needs Alliance. He is father to James who has Autism)

NEW PERSPECTIVE.

“We need to reframe the way we view these children and young people: “[those with additional needs are not] first and foremost people who have something wrong with them, they are sons and daughters of the living God made in the image of God. Inclusion is not something we can choose or not choose, it’s an issue of gospel importance. To welcome people is a gospel imperative, to include is to create pathways for people to hear and understand to the best of their ability the good news of who Jesus is, and enable them to make a response to that.”- Rev. Malcolm Duncan

(Rev. Malcolm Duncan, Pastor at Dundondald Elim)

BECOME AN INCLUSION CHAMPION.

At present the Disability Steering Group (DSG) team is looking at encouraging churches to put in place a Disability Champion. This is to encourage inclusion and build relationships with families who may feel isolated within the church and local community. DSG is inviting churches to collaborate with them to see this vision become a reality. God’s mission and love is for all regardless of their abilities or needs.

Contact janette.mccormick@imycd.org for more information.

“For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”