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Disability Concerns

Everybody belongs.

Everybody serves.

Accessible, inclusive, missional churches

Studies by the U.S. Census and Statistics Canada indicate that about 20 percent of their populations live with at least one disability. That translates to almost 50,000 RCA people—or 20 out of every 100 people in your church—who live day in and day out with a disability.

Your church can become a healthier community by engaging people with disabilities in their life and ministry. We can help you do that.

Eight themes in faith and disability

Mental wellness
Person-first Language
Removing barriers
Social ramps
Universal design
man in wheelchair talks to standing man with other people talking in the background

Want help engaging people with disabilities in your church?

Call by phone or video conference, write a letter or email, or (when possible) visit to learn how to engage and involve people with disabilities, their families, and their churches.

Let’s connect to plan jointly with your church or a group of churches to conduct workshops that help people with disabilities belong. We can assist you in supporting a wide variety of types of disabilities (developmental, emotional, mental, physical, sensory) through a variety of resources available electronically or in your local community.

Disability and Accessibility Church Cohort

Thrive is hosting a year-long learning community with churches in the BC, Washington, and Oregon regions.

Beginning in Spring 2024, churches will participate in the Thriving Essentials training for all church leaders including pastors, elders and deacons. Then, churches will have a group of people who work together over a year to make your church accessible and welcoming to people with disabilities. We’re excited to work towards creating churches where everybody belongs and everybody serves.

If you’re interested in participating, please contact Pastor Johannes Schouten at

View promotional flyer

Disability resources for churches

Everybody Belongs,
Serving Together

Inclusion Handbook

Find practical ideas and great resources to support your church’s ministry to, with, and by people with disabilities.

Disability Awareness Sunday Resources

Encourage your congregation to grow in becoming places of belonging for everyone and to discover ways to engage their gifts in ministry—with a particular focus on people with disabilities.

Church Accessibility Audit

Identify and address barriers to full accessibility in your church.

Church Disability Policy Template

Adopt an official policy to guide your congregation in welcoming and empowering people with disabilities.

Find a full list of helpful disability resources on the Network

The Network is the Christian Reformed Church in North America’s (CRCNA) online communication platform. RCA and CRCNA Disability Concerns partner together to create Breaking Barriers, and the Network has a list of resources for Disability Concerns.

Visit the Network

Why have a disability advocate?

Disabilities often keep people from participating fully in the church—sometimes a disability keeps someone from participating at all. A disability advocate helps your congregation welcome and include people with disabilities and their families.

One in five people has a disability. That’s a lot of people a disability advocate can help your church welcome, disciple, learn from, and watch lead.

We’re here to help

Becoming an advocate is a commitment. But you won’t be doing it on your own. RCA Disability Concerns will help you get the training and resources you need. And you’ll be joining a network of disability advocates who support each other.

Contact us to learn more
What does a disability advocate do?
  • Encourages the full welcome and belonging of people with disabilities in church life.
  • Identifies the needs of church members living with a disability and works with church leaders to respond in appropriate ways.
  • Connects church members and leaders with resources (from the RCA and the community) that support belonging.
  • Advocates for the adoption of a disability policy by church leaders and assists in its implementation.

Breaking Barriers

Subscribe to our award-winning quarterly newsletter, which includes first-person stories of people with disabilities that encourage us to include all people in the life and ministry of the church.