Disability and Inclusion

“I just see myself as someone who can give back, and it really raises a question of mutuality.”

What We Believe

The United Church is committed to becoming an open, accessible, and barrier-free church, where there is full participation of people with disabilities. To start off, the church has been consulting with people with disabilities and their allies and exploring theologies of disabilities.

Jesus sought out the very people who lived with disabilities and marginalization in his society. He found ways of actively engaging them in their communities. But people living with disabilities—a dynamic category that anyone can join at any time—often find themselves on the margins of church life.

You are invited to join us in learning to dismantle barriers to full participation and create safe, trusting spaces that reflect the diversity of Christ’s body.

Ceramic raku
This ceramic raku by Rev. Susan Woodhouse reads "cup of blessings" in Braille. The colours represent discerning the God-given gifts of disability and offering them to God’s people.
Rae Fletcher, The United Church of Canada


What You Can Do

Related Programs and Groups

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Published on: 
November 22, 2019
Last updated: 
November 22, 2019
In this video, Lynda Katsuno reflects on the work that still needs to be done in the church so people with disabilities can fully participate.
Published on: 
August 8, 2019

Sharon Ballantyne shares about a conversation on inclusion, in which participants sought brave and safe space to engage with each other with all their hearts.

Published on: 
July 25, 2019

Tom Reynolds writes that the experience of being with people with disabilities can reawaken an awareness of the deeply human condition of vulnerable interdependence.

Published on: 
July 18, 2019

I have a new perspective on life.

While I am waiting for two hip replacements, my mobility is decreasing – in direct proportion to the increase in chronic pain I am managing. These two factors, along with the long wait for joint replacement in the Ontario health care system, have come together in a perfect storm and for the first time in my life I find myself living with a chronic disability.

What I have to say will not be news for those who have lived with this for much longer than I have. And eventually I have every hope that I will be able to return to a reasonably...

Published on: 
April 9, 2019

Cameron Watts responds to the question, "How do we measure whether inclusion has been achieved?" which was raised at the 9th Annual Federal Policy Forum on Inclusion.

Published on: 
November 30, 2018

People sometimes share that they forget I am a person who is totally blind. I experience this as a good thing, an acknowledgment that they feel acceptance, and embrace me for who I am, my abilities and disabilities.

When I or others are not focusing on my disability and “forget” it, so to speak, it is not really forgotten. I don’t believe that people intend to dismiss my blindness.

People really don’t overlook I am blind. That is certainly not avoidable. Trust me! People don’t suddenly ignore my seeing eye dog at my side. They don’t suddenly stop needing to self-identify...

Published on: 
November 23, 2018

I am a person who is totally blind. I use a dog guide. Wilson is a 7½ year old black lab. He can be correctly described as a seeing eye dog, as he is a graduate of that school. “Seeing eye dog” is actually not a generic term, though it is often used erroneously that way.

Service animals work helping people who live with PTSD, very low vision, blindness, very limited hearing, deafness, autism, diabetes, epilepsy, and medical support such as assisting those in wheelchairs. Service animals could be canine officers supporting police, search and rescue, and the like.

One cannot...