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A Welcoming Church

Launch of “A Welcoming Church” – Enabling churches to better support people with disabilities

The Church of Ireland Youth Department has produced a new resource pack to help churches improve supports for people with disabilities. As Disability Advisor to the Diocese of Leeds, Katherine-Alice Grasham worked together with Dublin and Glendalough Youth Officer Susie Keegan to develop the pack. The resource was made by disabled people in consultation with disabled people, and was born out of discussions at disability awareness training between children’s and youth officers with a passion for disability inclusion within the Church.

Katherine said, “We’re really hoping that this new resource will be a way to start parishes thinking about small changes that can make a big difference. This resource is not just a tick-box exercise; it’s designed to start conversations and get people thinking together about accessibility and welcome.”

Susie Keegan added, “Collaborating on this resource was a huge privilege and there was a huge amount of learning for me in it. When researching and designing, I had to ensure that it was and is accessible. We need to create and design with accessibility as a priority rather than an afterthought.”

The 14-page resource includes general tips on what to do to help welcome people with disabilities, and suggestions (also provided as A4 posters) for how a parish can be a welcoming church for people who may have one or more of the following particular disabilities:

  • dyslexia
  • hearing impairment or deafness
  • visual impairment or blindness
  • autism, neurodiversity and cognitive disorders
  • mobility difficulties or who are using a wheelchair
  • anxiety and mental illness
  • dementia
  • asthma and allergies
  • chronic pain or illness

Visit to download the resources or to find out more