Disability Awareness Sunday is an opportunity for us to celebrate the inclusion of people affected by disabilities into the body and family of the church. We celebrate this every time we come together, but this day is a special reminder and a good starting point for new activities and ministries. The definition of a disability is broad and diverse, giving us the opportunity to seek ways of including people with any and all gifts. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines disability as: “A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.” This includes people living with physical disabilities, cognitive/learning disabilities, and mental illness.
Churches are encouraged to celebrate Disability Awareness Sunday on the first Sunday in May. If this date does not work for your church, then we encourage you to choose another Sunday in the year to celebrate this special day. In order to support our churches to the best of our ability, the West Ohio Conference Disability and Ministry Team is offering the following ideas for churches:
- Your church can plan and conduct your own Disability Awareness Sunday gathering led by the leadership/worship team, a team of congregants with a passion for disability ministry, or a combination.
- Your church can contact us to request a speaker to come provide the message for your Disability Awareness Sunday gathering and provide support/coaching for your team. Speakers can be provided in person or virtually.
- Your church can utilize video resources prepared and posted by the Disability and Ministry Team such as a sermon, prayers, and music.
More information and resources can be found here: https://www.westohioumc.org/conference/disability-awareness-sunday