Start a Disability Ministry

 

Let’s look at the stats

  • According to the last census, 1 in 5 families has a member with a disability
  • “Across the country, 13 percent of students, on average, are identified as needing special education — in some states, more.”
  • Add in 504 kids with learning disabilities and mental health/behavior diagnosis, you could be close to 20% in your school district

What kids are we talking about?

Those who need adjustments to understand the lesson and be able to participate in the activities.

  • Special needs: autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, being deaf or blind, other physical/cognitive disability
  • Learning disabilities: dyslexia, dysgraphia, other oral/written language disorders, executive function deficits 
  • Mental health/behavioral diagnosis: ADD, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, trauma, social anxiety, OCD

Accessible Church: Where Are the Families?

  • In the lobby or at home – waiting
  • In a classroom – learning
  • In the worship service – worshiping
  • In homes – fellowshiping
  • In the community – serving 

Our churches can provide these opportunities for special needs families like they provide them for everyone else.

Options for support in the classroom

  • Typical class with help from a buddy- Many students are most comfortable in the regular ministry setting with help from a teen or adult buddy
  • Self contained class- Designed for students who benefit from having curriculum & a space that meets their needs.
  • Reverse inclusion class- The class is designed for teens with disabilities. Typical students are invited in to form friendships and help.

What’s the best placement? 

Our goal is to communicate the gospel to every child/teen in a way they understand in an environment where they feel comfortable.