Education and people with disabilities
Christian education helps us practice love and to live as children of God. Children, youth and adults of all abilities want to participate in worship and church life. Often classes can be inclusive when best practices are in place. They include:
- Use universal design (for all) for physical space
- Modify lessons and media.
- Train leaders.
Classes for specific groups, such as adults with intellectual disabilities can help participants pre-learn United Methodist beliefs and practices such as communion – prior to worship. Resources at this site share ways to be inclusive and to welcome people with and without disabilities into Faith Walk and Sunday school experiences. This Disability Ministries site also has resources about disabilities for adult faith walk forums and study groups.
Sunday school is a great place to offer safe, inclusive classrooms, activities and social programs for children with and without disabilities. As Naomi Mitchum, the author of one resources says, “Every Child Can Bloom.” Select the above link for First Steps and more.
The Disability Ministries Committee and UM Publications want to help congregations engage and prepare teens and adults of all abilities to participate in worship and church life. Select the above link to see church success stories and the Confirmation and Faith Development Curriculum for persons with Autism, Developmental, Intellectual and Related Disabilities.
Learn basic ways to include people with disabilities in all areas of church worship, activities and leadership. Media presentations, videos and study guides can be part of the learning experience. Select the above link for resources about Mental Health, physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities and what the Bible says (theology).
The United Methodist Church General Board of Higher Education and Ministry provides scholarships and loans (including some that are directed toward disabilities or study for related fields), technical assistance, standards and resources for ministerial education, and the Cyber Campus connection to online education sources.