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Attitude is a bigger issue

The more I dive into elements that relate to disability. I’ve noticed that one of the biggest issues that those with disabilities tend to face in the church is attitudes. People have broad and wild assumptions on what it means to have a disability or challenge. Some even have the opinion that to have a disability means that it has to be something that can be seen. Such as a limp or even being in a wheel chair. That such disabilities have to be out right visible.

However many do not fully accept the idea that some disabilities or challenges are not easily seen. Some of the reasons why they are not always noticed is because of the very nature of what that person is facing. Various conditions that are more internal and less obvious unless you happen to know the person’s story. This is something that applies to me as my mild cerebral palsy is not easily noticed. Or with the fact that I deal with severe tinnitus and moderate visual snow. Other times it is because in order to function in the world we have to made adjustments that minimize how our challenges impact our daily lives.

It is an uphill struggle to be accepted in the world if you have a disability or challenge. The world is for the able and often looks down on those with disabilities. A struggle at times to navigate life when very few are willing to offer consideration and compassion instead of the constant rush to judgement. The church should be the one place where we can be who we are and not have to worry. Yet, sadly, in some parishes that is not always the case.

When you talk about disability and making accommodations. Most assume that it is about money that has to be spent. I think the simplest way to be accommodating is changing our mindset. If we understand that everyone faces some kind of challenge. Some consider it a disability. Some may not. Then we can take a look at finding ways to be more open and accepting to those who have challenges.

The church has done much over the years as it comes to being accepting of those with disabilities. However the church also has a long way to go. Some people still feel the need to mock and to minimize those who may not be like them. We, as members of the church, have an obligation to offer up mercy and compassion to all we come in contact with. We should do what we can to open our hearts and not be so quick to pass extreme judgement. When you think about it. Everyone in this world has some kind of challenge. We should not be so quick to assume the worse. No way for us to fully understand the struggles. If we are willing to be open to those around us. Everything else will come together as intended. -

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