It is time to awaken the sleeping giant that exists in all of our communities–the disability community! There are more than 61 million Americans with disabilities, and this number continues to grow rapidly. Unfortunately, many persons with disabilities are isolated and segregated from society because there is a lack of accessibility and understanding for the disability community. Society should begin paying attention because the reality is, if a person lives long enough, he or she will encounter disability either directly or indirectly. Rather than continue operating with the norm of isolation and segregation of the disability community, an organization exists for the purpose of creating awareness and providing solutions–SNs360.
There are many organizations throughout the United States that are focused on the disability community, but SNs360 is striving to promote collaboration between the disability community and the rest of the world. Through this partnership, isolation and segregation will no longer be the norm, instead it will be replaced by a redefined community that includes persons with disabilities in all aspects of society.
One of the ways SNs360 is moving towards redefining community is working with faith groups. Sadly, many faith communities do not focus on the disability community; instead, their attention is on other members of society, such as children, students, seniors, and others. All of these members are important, but equally important is the disability community. It is estimate one in four adults live with a disability, which means 25 percent of each faith community should have a disability. This is not the reality.
SNs360 is offering an Accessibility and Awareness Audit for faith communities. This audit will cover three key components: the building, congregation, and worship. The building audit helps determine if physical accessibility is an issue for the disability community. Next, the congregation audit will measure the awareness level of the congregation in regard to the disability community. Lastly, a worship audit helps determine if the worship service is a barrier for engagement of the disability community. All three components will allow SNs360 to provide a detailed written and verbal report of the audit. This will allow a faith community to have a baseline assessment of where they are in regard to the disability community.
Once the Accessibility and Awareness Audit is complete, SNs360 will collaborate with the faith community to determine ways to engage the disability community. For far too long, the disability community has been pitied; instead, the disability community wants the opportunity to share their gifts with the rest of the world. This can become a reality, if faith communities recognize the awesome gifts and talents that exist within the disability community. A sleeping giant does exist, let’s wake it up!