Disability Concerns is mandated by synod to facilitate the full participation of people with disabilities in church life. This involves helping churches remove barriers of architecture, communication, and attitude.
Disability Concerns publicizes the needs and abilities of people with disabilities in its newsletter, Breaking Barriers. It also maintains a network of volunteer regional (classical) disability consultants who recruit a contact person in each church to identify the congregation’s disability needs.
Funded by ministry shares, an annual two-day training session helps develop disability consultants. The topic this year was pastoral care. The presenter was Rev. James Kok, author of 90% of Helping Is Just Showing Up (published by Faith Alive Christian Resources).
Disability Concerns subcommittees support the consultants in eastern Canada, Chicago, and West Michigan. The eastern Canada committee holds a well-attended training conference every spring in Ontario for the church contact people. Disability Concerns also cooperates with Friendship Ministries in their ministry to people with cognitive impairments in the United States and Canada.
People who call Disability Concerns for help often do not have the funds to pay for service. We can offer help free of charge.
One-quarter of our budget is covered by gifts from individuals and special church offerings. The other three-quarters comes from ministry shares. We could not carry on our work without this steady, reliable, and generous source of funding.
The staff of Disability Concerns consists of a full-time director supported by part-time administrative assistants in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Burlington, Ontario.