Disabilities in Parish Life: An Overview (SN 1)

Course Level: Basic

Course Details

Disabilities in Parish Life: An Overview (hereafter, Disabilities: An Overview) seeks to provide participants with a basic understanding of the perspectives of people with disabilities and their family and friends, relevant issues of concern, and ways in which participants can create accessible parish and diocesan environments. It includes information on the less-than-obvious aspects of disability ministry not always apparent to the casual observer, such as stigma, grief, poverty, attitudes, family dynamics, and culture.

The Disabilities: An Overview course is designed for diocesan personnel as well as pastors and associates, deacons, seminarians, catechetical leaders and catechists, parish nurses, members of the liturgy or social justice committee, teachers, family members, and parish council members…all those whose ministries impact Catholics with disabilities. It is important for these church leaders and the total body of Christ to gain an understanding that:

  1. One in five persons in the every parish across the world has a definable disability. When family members are included this comes to a sizeable if silent part of most parishes.
  2. Disability is not always obvious. It is important for parish leadership to understand the need, and to reach out. Simple accommodations can yield great results.
  3. The life and dignity of every person is an integral part of Church teaching. Learning effective ways of including people with disabilities in the life of the Church affirms this truth.

Please note the required resource Opening Doors of Welcome and Justice to Parishioners the Disabilities: A Parish Guide is available from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' website: http://www.usccbpublishing.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=443

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's.

Course Materials

Course Structure and Highlights

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