Easter Greetings and Blessings!

In this holy season, NCPD offers a wealth of resources for ongoing faith formation for persons with disabilities. 

Click below for resources on:

USCCB’s Guidelines for the Celebrating the Sacraments for Persons with Disabilities Link
NCPD Board Statement on the Provision of Catechetical and Academic Instruction to Catholics with Disabilities Link
Catechesis for students with disabilities Link
Catholics with Autism Link
Deaf and persons who are hard of hearing Link

To new Catholics with disabilities, your Church welcomes you and values your spiritual gifts which are a necessary part of the Body of Christ!



April Edition of Bioethics and Public Policy Report Available

More timely information available in this month's edition on;

The National Scene: 

The State of Conscience/Religious Liberty:

The State of Marriage:

State by State:





ATF Survey in Spanish

The Spanish Autism Survey Now Available;
Closes on March 31, 2011.

January 31, 2011, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability’s Autism Task Force completed a survey in English of U.S. dioceses and parishes to gather data on the state of ministry with people having Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. We are now able to offer this survey in Spanish to reach those in the Hispanic community who are not English speaking.

Click the button to access an invitation letter in English and Spanish with a link to the Spanish, on-line survey.


Statement from National Catholic Bioethics Center

NCBC Expresses Disappointment Regarding Revision of Federal Conscience Protections

Marie T. Hilliard, RN, PhD, JCL
Director of Bioethics and Public Policy

February 22, 2011. The National Catholic Bioethics Center, while applauding the federal government's stated commitment to reinforce compliance with federal conscience protection laws, is gravely disappointed by the restriction of the scope of such protection from the original language, now limiting the protections only to abortion and sterilization procedures.

The intent of the Provider Conscience Rule was to reinforce and reaffirm existing federal laws, which prohibit recipients of certain federal funds from coercing individuals in the health care field into participating in actions they find religiously or morally objectionable. Such protection from discrimination ensures a vibrant pluralism in the delivery of health care. Not protecting consciences implicitly endorses a monolithic view of health care delivery in a setting where there is legitimate moral disagreement. By ensuring that consciences are protected, the federal government will help to assure that the people of the United States continue to receive care from a reasonable, thinking, caring and conscience-driven health care force.


Autism Awareness Month

NCPD Autism Task Force Encourages Parishes To Observe April as Autism Awareness Month

For decades April has been observed as Autism Awareness Month. The NCPD Autism Task Force has prepared resources for parishes to build awareness about autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including prayers of the faithful and bulletin articles.   Click below to view these and other resources prepared to help parishes serve the needs of parishioners with ASD and their families.



The NCPD Autism Task Force issued a press release, which we encourage you to share with your diocesan newspaper. Click below to read press release.

Press Release


NCPD Council on Mental Illness Releases Statement on Tucson Tragedy

The NCPD Council on Mental Illness has released a statement on the shooting in Tucson. To read the full statement click here.



NCPD Voices of Faith: God is Great

God is Great by Karen Jackson

Being the mom of a child with autism can have its challenges, to be sure, but I am constantly amazed by the wonderful blessings and lessons learned from my very special daughter.

For the last 10 years or so, each night we are able to sit at dinner together, our family of five; my husband Scott, sons Joseph and Jacob and daughter Samantha say a very common blessing over the food.  We started this so that our children would be able to independently lead the blessing when they were young and it has since stuck around, even though our children are now 15, 13 and 8 years old respectively.  The short familiar prayer goes like this:

“God is great; God is good, let us thank Him for our food.  Amen.”

Our daughter Samantha, the one that is 13 years old and has autism, started to say parts of the prayer a few years ago.  Even though she can say some words individually, she does not usually speak more than one or two words at a time and certainly is not conversational.  But like many children on the spectrum, if she hears something enough, she will begin to repeat it.  So when a few years ago, Samantha began to clearly pronounce, “A…men” we were thrilled.  Then came some of the other words and before long she could say a good part of the prayer.


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)



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