Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, March, 2013

posted Feb 28, 2013, 10:46 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Feb 28, 2013, 10:46 AM ]
Welcoming All God’s Children

    One of the Workshops that l attended at the annual District Ministries Fair at Wesley UM Church in Quarryville earlier this year had to do with ‘Disabilities’ Etiquette.’ It was pointed out that it is preferable, for example, to say “person with a disability” as opposed to using the term “handicapped,” which carries implications of charity and begging. We were encouraged to become alert to various barriers that prevent people with disabilities from full participation in congregational life, and also to work at eliminating those barriers.

    Some of the information and insights shared that day you will find on a list below in a true/false format. See if you already have a good handle on this subject by circling either true or false (T/F) for the following items/statements. None of us is ever too old or young to learn something new. And remember that people with disabilities have likes and dislikes, wants and needs, and desire to be included just like everyone else. Be accepting and encouraging. Share the love of Jesus with everyone you meet whoever they are.

T/F  Something like (20%), one out of five Americans, are disabled physically or mentally.

T/F  Many people still consider those with disabilities as lesser people --to be afraid of, pitied or ignored.

T/F Nearly 2.5 million people in the U.S. have epilepsy, a generic term used to signify seizure disorders.
      Someone with recurring seizures is said to have epilepsy. 

T/F  In over 70% of all Cases of epilepsy, no cause can be found. Most seizures, however, can be
        prevented or controlled with medication.

T/F  So-called ‘politically correct’ terms often do not communicate well and are vague and
        confusing for many. Instead of phrases such as “physically challenged,” “differently
        abled,” “intellectually challenged,” etc., it is better to use terms that are accurate, positive, and in
        common use such as autism, cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, etc.

T/F  Thirty-five percent (35%) of those over 65 have fallen within the past year.

T/F  Persons may experience loss of hearing as they grow older. Men are affected with hearing loss
       related to aging more than women.

T/F  The rate at which vision loss occurs in the general population increases considerably with age,
        especially after 65, with the average incidence of blindness being about 33 per every 1000.
        Blindness does not typically affect hearing.

T/F   ln the USA, 1.4 million people use wheelchairs as a result of mobility loss due to spinal cord
        injury, arthritis, polio, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and a variety of other conditions. Others
        use walkers, braces, crutches or canes to gain mobility. 

T/F   We live in an enlightened generation  where most people always feel comfortable around people
        who have disabilities.

Congratulations, if you circled every statement above, except for the final one, as true. It you would be willing to help conduct an accessibility audit, so that we here at Leola UMC might be more welcoming and helpful to persons with disabilities, please let this be known by contacting me or Pastor Tim.

George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries