Parish Disability Resources

Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Doors

Sometimes, the disability isn’t obvious, as in the case of some intellectual/developmental disabilities or mental illnesses. If you observe behavior that you don’t understand, it is good to remain aware for possible need of assistance and be nonjudgmental.

A List of Books related to disability, caregivers, mental health, deaf ministry, disability ministry, etc. are available to check out from the Diocese Pastoral Center. Contact Patty Origer, 515-237-5073 or



 Assistive Listening Systems


                                                                        ASL hand symbols

Here are some resources discussing various types of Assistive Listening Devices that work with hearing aid types.  Hopefully this will assist in evaluating needs and what should be considered when choosing a type of Assistive Listening Device for your parish.

 Awareness and Welcoming


                                                                                    boy and girl shaking hands


  • Inclusion Tip/Fact Sheets on disabilities and related issues for inclusive parish life.
    Child of God
  • Christmas

      Christmas Story Characters

      Jesus is Born

     Nativity set Touch and Talk

      Shepherd Match

      Sensory Bags

     Three Wise Kings

  • Pastor Tip Sheet (original document from National Apostolate for Inclusion Ministry – NAfIM)
  • Pew Card for Disabilities and Pew Card for Mental Illness (Prior to printing add your parish name, choose two-sided print and flip on short edge) to raise awareness of welcoming persons with disabilities and mental illness in your parish. 
  • 3 Tips for Retaining Disability Ministry Volunteers.  This resource provides idea of how to retain your volunteers and how to make sure they know they are appreciated.

     Ideas to welcome caregivers and the people they care for at our worship and events.

 Caregiver and Grief Support Resources
                                                                                                                           group of 5 people, one using cane, one holding baby in air, one in wheelchair
  • Catholic Aging Ministry

    This is a ministry for aging and cognitive impairment. We offer hope for families impacted by dementia through practical caregiving strategies and through the doctrine & tradition of our beautiful Catholic Faith. We are pro-life, pro-family, and pro-eternal life. Their work includes:  

    1. One-on-one virtual appointments with caregivers for guidance
    2. The Peace with Dementia Rosary: Education, Intentions, Community
    3. Speaking at conferences and Catholic parishes
    4. Our community, including the Dementia Prayer wall for your intentions
    5. Daily FB videos, weekly e-newsletters, monthly interview videos/podcasts
  • Catholic Caregivers is a program of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. We provide information and material to help those who support and work with caregivers. We do ask that you keep the Friends of St. John the Caregiver copyright on any material that's distributed. Another sister site is Your Aging Parent which this site is designed for family caregivers. It's for those who are helping a: spouse,aging parent, child with special needs, sibling with special needs , family member or friend. Here you'll find spirituality, information and resources for Catholic caregivers. All the material and resources are free from these organizations that only ask for free will donations.
  • Nourish for Caregivers is is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Created to improve the health and spiritual well-being of family caregivers...we provide faith-based programs and resources to churches and organizations to support caregivers.   Our mission is to equip churches to create a spiritual home that ministers to the practical, emotional and spiritual needs of caregivers, giving them the tools and resources to help caregivers connect with their faith and encounter Christ, so that they can see the grace and blessings in their caregiver journey.

Nourish for Caregivers is a complete turnkey curriculum with all of the resources and tools needed to successfully implement an ongoing program for family caregivers.  The Christ-centered materials focus on issues common to all caregivers, covering twelve (12) topics. Included are curriculum that cover subjects such as:

  • The Caregiver Role and Decisions You Face
  • Managing Family Dynamics
  • Coping with Stress
  • The Spirituality of Asking For Help
  • End-of-Life Issues

We have three models available flexible to the specific needs of your organization: Traditional Model, Virtual/Hybrid Model and Healthcare Model. Read more about each program on their website.

  • I Love You-When Someone you Love Dies and Healing the Hurtis a resource to assist individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) experience loss and grieve for lost loved ones, just like everyone does.  When that person has a hard time communicating how they feel or processing complicated emotions, it makes it more difficult.   
 Mental Health Resources
 Picture Missals and Mass Tools