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.

Accessibility   wheelchair moving with words Wheelchair Accessible


Assistive Listening Devices            American Sign Language hand symbols with words Ministry to hearing impaired

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

Autism at Mass-Mass Without Tears


  Christmas Story Characters

  Jesus is Born

  Nativity set Touch and Talk

  Shepherd Match

  Sensory Bags

  Three Wise Kings

  Compound Caregivers

  Coping with the Holidays (English and Spanish)

 Feeling Comfortable with People with Disabilities

  Inclusion: Happy Kids for Christmas

  Mental Illness Stigma--What Would I do?

  Ministering to Difficult People

Pastoral Visits with Someone with Dementia

  Postpartum Depression

  Prenatal Diagnoses and Pro-Life Choices

  Preparing for the holidays for someone with autism 

  7 Gift ideas for Caregivers in your Life

  Siblings of Children with Disabilities

  Suicide Prevention Inclusion Tip Sheet/The Key to Suicide Prevention: Knowledge

  Supporting Parishioners with Mental Illness

  The Blessings of Autism

  • Speaking of Disability: Pastoral Guidelines on Language (English) and Speaking of Disability: Pastoral Guidelines on Language (Spanish) (from NCPD, currently being update and will be reposted once it is made available to us)
  • Tips for Welcoming People with Disabilities at Mass (from NCPD)

Caregiver Resources

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.  All the material and resources we offer are free.  We do ask that you keep the Friends of St. John the Caregiver copyright on any material that's distributed.

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.

COVID19 Resources

Disability Book Resources 

List of Books available to check out from the diocese pastoral center, contact Patty Origer, 515-237-5073 or email

Grief Support Resources

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.  I Love You-When Someone you Love Dies and Healing the Hurt is a resource to assist these individuals in their grief

Mental Health Resources group of people, boy using wheelchair, man with cane, child standing, women holding child up high in arms

Picture Missals and Manipulatives

Listed below are several examples of Picture Missals that could be utilized as an example and adapted with pictures for your own parish.

  • Picture Missal from St. Francis of Assisi Parish in West Des Moines, IA
  • MagnifiKid is a missalette designed especially for children age 6 - 12. But adults also like to use them with readings right in the missalette. Kids love this missalette because it helps them follow and participate more fervently in the Liturgy. The readings are presented as written in the Lectionary, with a glossary to help with the difficult words.
  • Consider making manipulatives available for those attending Mass who need some tools for prayer and sensory support :

  Sensory Friendly Fidgets and tool resource list of possible ideas. to consider

  Rosary made of silicone and Mass Window chart can be purchased.

  Rosary Popper for prayer and keeping fingers busy!