This is the summary of a recent article on respecting people with disabilities in religious organisations.
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi is President of RepectAbility.org USA.
Here are her tips:
1. Communicate that all people are of equal value and are to be respected and openly welcomed.
2. Work with people with disabilities, not for them.
3. Take the time to learn “people-first language,” which respects human beings and their rights to be appreciated for the strengths they have, rather than to be defined by their disabilities.
4. Ensure all program registration and sign-up forms include questions about accommodations people may need to fully participate.
5. Trust is vital — and must be established before even meeting face to face with a person with a disability.
6. Spread the word in your marketing and social media that all people – with and without disabilities — are welcomed and appreciated.
7. Inclusion is a lot less expensive than most people think, but it still takes the right team and training to do it effectively.
8. Provide an inclusion director/coordinator to ensure your organization is ready to meet the needs of community members with disabilities.
9. Make a commitment to enable people with and without disabilities to develop peer relationships, build social skills and respect and accept each other.
10. Put diverse and qualified people with and without disabilities on your staff, board and committees.