IDAC Statement of Solidarity

Statement of Solidarity by the Religious Community
Around Employment of People with Disabilities

Download forms to sign petition:  WORD     PDF    
Twenty years ago, with bipartisan support in Congress and broad endorsements from the civil rights, faith and labor communities, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), calling for the “shameful wall of exclusion” to come tumbling down. Today, our country is much more accessible and welcoming of people with a wide variety of disabilities and chronic health conditions than it was in 1990.
Nonetheless, based on all of the available data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is a shameful fact that the law mandating equal access to employment for people with disabilities has failed to result in an increase in employment. Two-thirds of Americans with disabilities who want to work are unemployed or underemployed. That number has not changed since the ADA’s passage. This is a shameful situation which we in the religious community feel compelled to address.
Americans of many faiths, from congregations, seminaries and religious organizations believe strongly that work brings dignity, self respect and responsibility and that lack of employment is demoralizing, socially isolating and wasteful of a person’s abilities. Title I of the ADA, the employment provisions, was enacted with the intent of removing barriers to employment for people with disabilities and of protecting disabled workers from discrimination. 

NCPD 2011 Projects and Programs

Text Box: National Catholic Partnership on Disability…
Serving the U.S. Catholic Church in 2011 

Pro-life efforts
·         2011 online training on Threats to Life: Physician-Assisted Suicide
  • Collaboration with USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities
  • Co-sponsor of Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, February 13-16, 2011
·         Support for State Catholic Conferences through consultation and training on topics related to life and disability
Parish Outreach to Veterans
  • Co-sponsor of Spiritual Retreat for Veterans in Washington, DC area
  • 2011 internet seminar on supporting veterans with a service-related disability or PTSD, and their families
  • Toolkit production for parishes to help support veterans and their families returning to their home parish
NCPD Autism Task Force
·         Monthly conference calls
·         Identification and evaluation of resources and curriculum
·         Report with recommendations to NCPD Board October, 2011
Support for Priests with Low Vision: Large-Print Sacramentary/Lectionary Project
  • Altar-appropriate large print Sacramentary and its companion Lectionary on CD
  • Revision of large print Sacramentary (24, 34, & 44 font sizes) to reflect changes in the Roman Missal
Spanish Language Translations
  • Available Spanish language resources posted on NCPD website
  • NCPD’s vast library of resources—translations planned as funding is obtained
NCPD Council on Mental Illness
·         Consultation and resources for internet seminars on veterans and physician-assisted suicide
·         Series of National Conference Calls for members of Network on Mental Illness
·         Welcomed and Valued DVD and Resource Manual; monthly e-newsletter
·         Mental illness awareness workshops around the country; national advocacy and leadership
National Training Seminars (“Webinars”)
·         Reconciliation and Eucharist for Children with Disabilities
·         Threats to the Lives of People with Disabilities, Part II: Physician-
      Assisted Suicide
·         Parish Support for Veterans with Disabilities and Their Families
Additional Support for Diocesan Disability Directors and other Personnel
·         NCPD E-NEWS & MI Network News
·         National Conference Calls for Diocesan Disability Directors (Quarterly)
·         Consultation, training, regional meetings, and diocesan evaluation

Autism Task Force Survey

The Autism Task Force survey has closed.
Results to come soon!

The Autism Task Force pictured has conducted a survey in an effort to ensure that the welcome persons with disabilities receive in the Church continues to improve.

The ATF is working to review and develop strategies and resources that will assist (arch)dioceses/parishes to more effectively include individuals with ASD and their families, into the full life of the Church.

Your responses to this survey are vital to determine the current state of this specialized ministry. We anticipate that information gathered will indicate existing strengths and challenges around the country. This will directly assist the ATF in their efforts to improve and increase the breadth and depth of materials available to catechetical leaders (and catechists) to more successfully invite, welcome and appreciate persons with disabilities, especially those with ASD, in the Church.

NCPD Autism Task Force pictured : Katie Coughlin, Kim Lieb, Larry Sutton, Nancy Thompson, Charleen Katra, Jennifer Borek (not present: Mary Ann Walsh and Dan Mulhall)




Monthly Bioethics Report posted

Click here for the October Bioethics report from the National Catholic Bioethics Center.


NCPD Webinar: Poor Prenatal Diagnosis


Thank you to all who attended the webinar on Prenatal Diagnosis. We hope that you found it a valuable addition to your awareness of this topic, and a ready resource for ministering to those who receive a prenatal diagnosis.

  To replay the webinar click below.


For Powerpoint printouts and other resources, click below.

The New Eugenics: Eliminating the “Undesirable” by Prenatal Diagnosis


The trends in the purposes of prenatal testing
is explored in this article. 

"The last quarter-century has produced phenomenal advances in prenatal testing: ultrasound; testing for Rh incompatibility; infectious disease testing or testing for antibodies; maternal serum protein testing; amniocentesis; chorionic villus sampling; umbilical cord blood sampling; chromosomal and genetic testing of both parents and fetus. Yet, the question needs to be asked: to what end is this list of techniques continually enlarged?
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that 90% of its surveyed members justify abortion for fetal anomalies that are fatal, and 63% justify abortion when the anomalies are not fatal. Thus, nearly two-thirds of the physicians responding, physicians entrusted with the care of mother and unborn child, embrace eugenics. ..."

Article by Dr. Marie Hilliard, JCL, PhD, RN., Chair NCPD Committe on Ethics and Public Policy and the Director of Bioethics and Public Policy, National Catholic Bioethics Center.



National Catholic Bioethics Center Monthly Documents Available

Reports from the National Catholic Bioethics Center on the state of bioethics and public policy are availabe by clicking here. These reports include information regarding conscience provisions, cloning and marriage, among other issues.


Upcoming Webinar

Threats to the Life of People With Disabilities, Part 1:
Poor Prenatal Diagnosis of Lethal
or Non-lethal Conditions & Disability:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010
1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern        12:00-1:30 p.m. Central
11:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Mountain      10:00-11:30 a.m. Pacific

 Issues addressed include:

  • Examination of medical issues
  • Catholic Church teaching
  • Pastoral, family & medical support
  • Live Q & A
  • Real-time captioned



Mental Health Month 2010

May is Mental Health Month

May is a good time to talk about mental illness and the effects on the individual and the family. Some suggestions:
·         use the bulletin articles on the NCPD website (click here)
·         use the article on “Stained Glass Window” that talks about inclusion (attached)
·         Prayers of the faithful (click here)
·         Show the DVD “Welcomed and Valued” (click here)
·         Use information from the “resource binder” for an article on mental illness (click here for resource binder or here to order printed version)
·         Host a mass celebrating the lives of people with mental illness, their families, care givers
·         Celebrate St Dymphna’s feast day May 15th (see homily - can be modified to suit local needs and used in an article for bulletin or other publication)
·         Resources:
            NAMI -
            Pathways to Promise -
            Mental Health Ministries -
            Archdiocese Chicago Mental Illness Ministries -



Previous Webinar

Advanced Considerations:
Mental Illness in Youth and Young Adults
June 10, 2010 1:00- 2:00 PM Eastern



Presenter Presented by the NCPD Council on Mental Illness as part of its Welcomed and Valued Initiative, and the National federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, helping parishes support the spiritual life of youth and young adults.

Click here for flyer. 


Dr. Robert McCarty,
Executive Director of  NFCYM

Dr. Paul Myers, Director of Student Health Services,
University of Portland, OR.

Linea Johnson is a self-advocate,motivational speaker, author, and blogger.
She is a recent college graduate with a degree in creative writing and English from
Seattle University, in Washington.
Linea says of herself, “As a young woman diagnosed with bipolar disorder,
I hope to use my experiences to speak for those unable to speak for themselves.”

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