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Faith-Based Organizations and Information

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – Disability Ministries
The ELCA’s churchwide disability ministries are ministries “with” people and not ministries “for” or “to” people. Often one focuses on what one can do for a person with a disability; instead, we look to the talents and gifts that we who are persons with disabilities bring to the church.

Faith at Home – Including Children with Special Needs in Workship and Church School Programs
By Linda Chamberlayne. The first step for including children with special needs in any program at church or elsewhere begins with personal attitudes. Inclusion has more to do with one’s philosophy, approach, and willingness to learn than a “how to” check list. It is about seeing each child, no matter how challenged, as having the potential to learn and the same need to be loved and included as all other children.

L’Arch Chicago

L’Arche communities, family-like homes where people with and without disabilities share their lives together, give witness to the reality that persons with disabilities possess inherent qualities of welcome, wonderment, spirituality, and friendship.

Joni & Friends – IL Chapter
Joni and Friends is a global Christian disability organization that supports both families and individuals with disability. Our focus locally is to provide supports and trainings for churches to develop disability ministries within their own congregations. We also provide a variety of family retreats and respite events throughout the year, and these are geared towards supporting not only individuals impacted by disability, but also the parents/caregivers and typical siblings as well

Pathways Awareness – Creating Access and Awareness in Worship
One in five Americans have a disability, but many churches, synagogues, temples and mosques are not equipped to include people with disabilities. The “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors” program assists congregations of all faith traditions to include people with physical, sensory, mental or emotional differences into all aspects of faith life.

Presbyterians for Disability Concerns
Presbyterians for Disability Concerns welcomes those who affirm, support and advocate for the gifts, rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities in the total life of the church.

Resources in Developmental Disabilities and Coping with Grief, Death and Dying
From The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities. This does not pretend to be a complete listing of issues related to death and dying, but a partial listing of resources related to grief, death and dying for persons with mental retardation or other disabilities and their families.

SPRED – Chicago
The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago – The goal being to make it possible for each parish to welcome persons with developmental disabilities into a Spred group where they would become prepared to participate in the liturgical life of their parish.

That All May Worship – An Interfaith Welcome to People with Disabilities
“That All May Worship” eases the job of removing barriers to the full participation of people with disabilities in congregations and seminaries. From AAPD.

The Friendship Circle
The Friendship Circle’s unique approach brings together teenage volunteers and children with special needs for hours of fun and friendship. These shared experiences empower children with special needs, while enriching the lives of everyone involved.

Voice of Care
Voice of Care’s mission is to equip the Church to nurture people with disabilities and their caregivers in their walk with Christ. Voice of Care is a Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.