What Are the Biggest Challenges Facing People with Disabilities? 

What are three of the greatest challenges that people with disabilities are facing today? 

That’s what we’re discussing in this next interview in our Easter 2024 series, “Rebuild My Church,” and offer us, the Church, the Body of Christ, actionable ways to help overcome those challenges in an effort to bring renewal from within.

I am joined today by special guest, Ana Martinez, who is a blind grad student.

People with Disabilities Challenges and Solutions

Challenge #1:  Many times non-disabled people in the Church see people with disabilities as people who can only be served but who cannot contribute.

Solution: Educating people, including clergy, on the capabilities of people with disabilities.

Challenge #2: Many times people with disabilities feel like they cannot participate, or that they won’t be welcomed in Church ministries or activities.

Solution: Addressing attitudes, since at times, presume a lack of competence, or ignorance.

The Church should treat disabled the same as others, with dignity and respect – others will follow their lead.   

Lack of people with disabilities serving in the Church may discourage other people who don’t know if they can do it.

Create better accessibility. People are wondering if they will have adaptive equipment. That can be tricky since each person has their own needs. Solution is to ask if people need accommodations and try to meet their needs.

Challenge #3: Limited vocational opportunities.

Solution: Just let us discern our vocation like everyone else.

Ana Martinez, is a 26-year-old grad student at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX, studying for an MA in Theology. She has been blind since birth, but her disability has never hindered her from reaching her goals. Ana loves Jesus and His Church, and is passionate about bringing young people closer to Christ and to the Catholic Church. Read her article, On Chainsaws and Changing What It Means to Be Blind, here.

About Author

Creative, Entrepreneur & Silly-Heart. Christ has called her to bring the broken to His Sacred Heart. Calls Austin home with her mountain-man husband, Mike, who she loves to travel through life with as well as around the world.

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