One might even say that this is divinely-inspired creativity. When congregations think outside the box and design their programs with accessibility in mind, the church community is divinely led to be more meaningful and vibrant for both those with disabilities and those without.
Recently, we decided to change the title that we use for our volunteer advocates in the congregation who encourage everyone to be more supportive and welcoming to people with disabilities and their families. The new title of congregational “Accessibility Advocate” focuses on the role being performed, rather than on an issue or problem to be fixed. I am indebted to Tracey Lehman and Columbus Mennonite Church for initially suggesting this title revision. We hope that this change will better reflect the vision of accessibility for all people irrespective of their ability.
I also decided to change the title of this column to reflect this focus on accessibility for people with disabilities and their families. In fact, the broader theme of accessibility is becoming more visible in many areas of ADN. Accessibility Hosts will assist with Accessibility Services at the MCUSA Convention in Orlando this July. And, Accessibility Advocates in church congregations will continue to help everyone to be mindful and supportive of those touched by disability.
Just as the ADN theme for Orlando is “Be an Advocate! Nurture Supportive Communities,” we ask each of you to serve as an advocate for accessibility, nurturing supportive communities.
May you be blessed!