Resources for Persons with Special Needs

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Resources for Persons with Special Needs

This video concludes the #TheChurchIsOurHome series and recounts the delivery of the summary of the Special Synodal Listening Session, dedicated to persons with disabilities, to Pope Francis and the General Secretariat of the Synod.

#TheChurchIsOurHome: An Open Door to Hope

From the emotional accounts of the participants' emerges an awareness of having experienced an event that was unique in its own way and that allowed, for the first time, the voices of the faithful with disabilities to reach the Synod.

Learn more

#IamChurch Campaign

The Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life offers the #IamChurch campaign: 5 videos in which persons with disabilities, from different parts of the world, recount their experience of faith and affirm, "I am Church!" Each video aims to bring out the contribution that persons with disabilities offer to the ecclesial community on a daily basis. CLICK HERE to find the videos and learn more.

Faith Formation and Sacramental Preparation Materials

Liguori Publications

Handbook for Adaptive Catechesis: Serving Those with Special Needs

Loyola Press

Adaptive Preparation Kits for Confirmation, Reconciliation and First Eucharist. Designed to help individuals with autism and other special needs enter fully into the faith experience, prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation, and live their lives as participating members of the Catholic Church.

Adaptive Finding God Program: A faith formation program for children with special needs adapted to a variety of settings and situations

National Apostolate for Inclusion Ministry

Now with National Catholic Partnership on Disability as the Council on Intellectual and Developmental Disability.

Tips for Working with Children and Teens with Special Needs

Sacramental Themes and Learning Styles that list suggestions on how to teach the theme in a visual, auditory or kinesthetic manner.


The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Program

A comprehensive religion curriculum designed to help parents and catechists in their task of teaching special children and adults about the Catholic faith. The program may be used in a variety of religious education settings: parish religious education, either in an inclusive classroom or in a specialized setting. (Available in English and Spanish)

University of Dayton

Inclusive Catechesis Resources 

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College Resources for Students with Disabilities

A team of experts at has published a guide for students with disabilities outlining their legal rights, where to find assistance on campus, and an extensive list of websites, apps and software resources designed for students’ specific needs.

Affordable Colleges Online has an extensive list of resources for students with disabilities.

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Catholic Organizations

Key Ministries

Resources to help churches more effectively minister to children and adults with ADHD, anxiety disorders, Asperger’s Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, depression and trauma.

New Hampshire Bible Society

National Catholic Partnership on Disability

National Catholic Office for the Deaf

Strengthened in Faith: Confirmation a Sacramental Preparation in American Sign Language (DVD)

Liturgical Prayers in American Sign Language (DVD)

Sacrament of Reconciliation in American Sign Language (DVD)

Policy for Working with Sign Language Interpreters in Catholic Religious Settings

Principles for Understanding Deaf Ministry and Guidelines for Hiring Pastoral Ministers for the Deaf Community

Masses Interpreted in American Sign Language in NH

Xavier Society for the Blind

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Welcome and Justice for Persons with Disabilities: A Framework of Access and Inclusion

Guidelines for Celebrating Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities

Archdiocese of Newark

Pastoral Ministry with Persons with Disabilities: Catechetics, Pastoral Support & Family Support

Archdiocese of Washington, DC

Department of Special Needs Ministry

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The following book titles appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of “Lifelong Faith Journal.” The issue was dedicated to Faith Formation and Special Needs.

Carter, Eric W. Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities: A Guide for Service Providers, Families and Congregations. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes publishing Co., 2007.

Chronister, Michele. Handbook of Adaptive Catechesis: Serving Those with Special Needs. Liguori: Liguori Publishing, 2012.

Conner, Benjamin T., Amplifying Our Witness: Giving Voice to Adolescents with Disabilities. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012.

Newman, Barbara. Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities (Revised Edition). Grand Rapids: Faith Alive, 2012.

Reynolds, Thomas E. Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2008.

Verbal, Pat (general editor). Special Needs Ministry for Children. Loveland: Group Publishing, 2012

Webpage Graphic for Masses

Photo Gallery

Kate Giknis is a young woman who is deaf and developmentally delayed. Her mom, Kim Whitaker, prepared her for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion. She was able to use adaptive materials that the parish provided. Many parishioners were there in support of Kate, and they had a beautiful reception after Mass.