Persons experiencing barriers in the congregation?
The “dropouts” from worship or other programs of the congregation?
Persons in the community being excluded from the faith community?
Perhaps your congregation needs a Congregational Disabilities Advocate!
What does an Advocate do?
The responsibilities of a Congregational Disabilities Advocate can be defined according to the needs of your particular congregation. Here are some guidelines.
A Congregational Disabilities Advocate...
Promotes the inclusion of all persons, regardless of abilities or disabilities, into the life of the congregation.
Seeks to become aware of persons within the faith community and their disabilities.
Receives information and potential resources from the Congregational Accessibility Network (CAN), their denominational disabilities advocacy office and other sources to pass along to appropriate persons within the congregation.
Communicates with networks (regional, denominational, CAN, etc.) about the congregation's journey with disabilities in ways that will encourage other congregations on their journeys. Examples:
Stories of how the congregation is including persons with disabilities.
Issues that the congregation is facing.
Resources and consultation needed to include persons with specific disabilities.
Resources the congregation would have to share with others in their networks.