What is Ability Sunday?
Ability Sunday on Sunday 13 September* is a day to celebrate the gifts of disabled people.
Livability warmly invites churches, faith-based communities UK-wide and overseas, to join in Ability Sunday – making this a special day in their community.
Ability Sunday invites churches to host an Ability Sunday Service for Christians to come together from around the world to celebrate the gifts of disabled people. Everyone taking part means making churches and communities the richer.
It also gives your church a moment to celebrate how caring and welcoming your church family is to disabled people, their families and care workers. You could take this opportunity to reflect on whether you could increase your welcome through active partnerships with disabled people.
The Pilgrim Journey – our theme for 2020
Each year, Livability provides a unique, themed pack to equip churches with the resources to run an Ability Sunday Service, featuring
- a sermon outline
- supporting notes
- a reading based on a biblical theme.
You can find out more about this year’s Pilgrim Journey theme here.
We encourage individuals, families and friends to use these resources too and have themed Ability Sunday 2020 with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and its effects in mind.
* If another date is more suitable for your church, please host your Ability Sunday Service then.
Who is Ability Sunday for?
If you want to take your church on an important journey to being fully inclusive, Ability Sunday is an important campaign to get behind. Creating inclusive churches is never a one-day exercise, but by celebrating Ability Sunday, you can start to ensure that everyones unique gifts and strengths are developed.
When thinking about disabled people, you may need to consider:
- People who find mobility hard: this is what first comes to mind for many people when they think of disability, such as people using aids like wheelchairs or crutches to get around. This only represents between 6-8% of disabled people in the UK.
- People with sensory impairments: sight or hearing loss can be very isolating and extremely frustrating, especially if they occur in later life. Older people may struggle to accept that they are becoming disabled, even as they rely more on hearing aids and stronger glasses.
- People with intellectual impairments, also called learning They may struggle with complex concepts, lists of instructions, or communication.
- People who are non-neurotypical: this includes autistic people and people with Asperger Syndrome – people who experience the world in a different way.
- People with poor mental health: a non-exhaustive list could include depression, mood disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The impact of these may be episodic or require ongoing support.
- People with dementia: an umbrella term for the group of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, which cause memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.
- Carers / families: those involved in day-to-day care of people with ongoing support needs; it is estimated that there are over 7m carers across the UK. Many carers may face isolation and have trouble in accessing ap
Within each area, everyone faces different barriers to becoming fully part of your church family – but it’s important that we respond and change this for the better.
Disabled people and non-disabled people
Ability Sunday is a day to celebrate the gifts of all, with a particular understanding of disability. It’s an opportunity to consider the needs and experiences of disabled people. People may be living with different impairments or medical conditions or be experiencing a range of disabling barriers to living their lives and meeting their aspirations.