Disability issues cut across every aspect of congregational life and do not fit neatly into the work of a single commission or committee. Here is a sampling of questions that a disabilities advocate might bring to the attention of various groups in a congregation.
- Are your church building, parking lot, and restrooms easily accessible to people with physical disabilities?
- Are the church's educational programs inclusive of children and adults with disabilities? Are there Christian Ed lessons and materials to meet everyone's needs?
- Print materials available in large type and alternative formats?
- Church Website accessible to people with vision disabilities and hearing loss?
- Are opportunities available to people with disabilities to share their stories and unique perspectives?
People with disabilities participate in faith communities in smaller numbers than people without disabilities.
- Are people with diverse disabilities present in your congregation?
- Does your wider community know the ways your congregation is welcoming for people with disabilities?
- How prepared are you for individuals with disabilities to visit your congregation?
- Do fellowship events and community life make an effort to include those whom the wider society often leaves out, for example, those with hearing loss, developmental disabilities, autism, or mental illness?
- How comfortable are your physical spaces for socializing to people with sensory hypersensitivity, perfume- or other allergies, or hearing loss?
- Are people with disabilities represented in the congregation's leadership? If not, why not?
- Are people with certain disabilities acceptable as leaders, but not others? Why not?
People with a wide range of disabilities are unified by their common experience of stigma and discrimination. Persons with mental health disabilities are particularly vulnerable to stigmatizing.
- How is your congregation engaged with meeting the needs of people with disabilities in your wider community?
- How are you advocating for justice and an end to discrimination for people with disabilities?
- How well is your congregation recognizing and drawing on the gifts of people with diverse abilities and disabilities?
- How inclusive of people with disabilities is your worship?
- Can everyone hear? See? Understand?
- Do people with disabilities contribute? Lead? Preach?
- How accepting is your congregation of behavior in worship that is outside the norm? (e.g., those whose disability makes it hard to sit quietly)