How accessible is your parish?
Who is included at your parish? What does a parish that includes all people look like?

Since the Pastoral Statement of U.S. Catholic Bishops on Persons with Disabilities in 1978, the church has stressed the importance of including all people. The Pastoral Statement begins: “The same Jesus who heard the cry for recognition from the disabled of Judea and Samaria two thousand years ago calls us, his followers, to embrace our responsibility to our own disabled brothers and sisters in the United States.”

More than 40 years later, how well has the church’s promise succeeded at the local parish level? Some Catholics might attend a parish that has striven to make its building ADA-compliant for people with mobility restrictions, from installing ramps at all entrances to equipping restrooms with grab bars and wheelchair-height sinks and hand dryers. Other parishes might also include ASL interpretation at all services or be sure to offer gluten-free communion hosts and social hour refreshments for parishioners with dietary restrictions.

How accessible is your parish? U.S. Catholic wants to know.
Email address *
1. I and/or a member of my family has a disability that requires special needs for attending Mass or church events.
2. I and/or my family feel included at our parish.
3. My parish building is equipped with the following features to make it accessible for all:
4. My parish offers the following features to make liturgy accessible to all:
5. There are parts of my church building that are not accessible to everyone.
6. My parish offers ASL interpretation during services and events.
7. My parish offers gluten-free hosts so that those with dietary restrictions can take part in the Eucharist.
8. My parish has surveyed its members to determine the accessibility needs of the congregation.
9. My parish has a disabilities advocate.
10. My parish has a committee or task force that meets regularly about accessibility and inclusion.
11. I have heard accessibility discussed at a parish meeting or event.
12. I have heard accessibility discussed in a sermon or during liturgy at my parish.
13. There is at least one person with a disability who serves in a leadership or ministry role at my parish.
14. My parish has people with disabilities who participate in the following roles:
15. My parish offers ministries for children and families with special needs.
16. My parish should be more accessible for people with special needs than it is now.
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