After a great deal of thought and preparation, I decided to reach out and ask for help.
Ok. Really I’m BEGGING.
(Well that sounds sappy and depressing).
I’ll pay you MONEY. I’ll have your BABY. I’ll CLEAN your house. I’ll OWE YOU. I’ll toot YOUR HORN (but I warn you… I’m deaf). I’ll GIVE YOU PROPS.
Hmmm. None of those are doing it for me.
I’m asking you to HELP. You CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Asking For Guest Authors
As a person of faith, and a person who is differently-abled, being able to attend my home church is important to me. My church does a lot of things right. My church could do some things better. I have learned to accept that some things are just HARD when you put everything that encapsulates ME in the place I have CHOSEN to worship.
However, I am a person with hearing loss, hearing again through the bionics of a cochlear implant. That’s pretty specific.
I am a person with Meniere’s disease, a balance disorder that the “experts” have not completely figured out yet. The triggers, symptoms, and treatments vary. How it affects me is very specific.
I have major depressive disorder. Many people do.
I have a service dog. Not everyone who is “differently-abled” has chosen to partner with one. You may have other assistive devices or options.
I know, however, that there are many, MANY people out there who struggle in their own PLACE of worship. There are people who struggle worshiping along side of the PEOPLE with whom they have chosen to worship. These people are different than “my church family people”. There are people out there who have passion for Purple. (Sorry… I got carried away with having a third point that started with P. Did I mention I also have OCD tendencies?)
I would like to ask for YOUR help. You see? I need your stories and your words. Together, the compilation of our experiences (I believe) can make a difference in our churches. I am launching an initiative that I hope will take MONTHS to complete. There is no hurry. The posts do not have to be consecutive.
You can write anonymously.
You can write unedited.
I need you. I believe those trying to improve accommodations and accessibility in places of worship need to hear your story. Would you be willing to participate?
Some ground rules:
1. Email me at denise.portis@gmail for suggestions as far as photographs, word count, etc.
– OR – Click this link: <ThIs HeRe LiNk> (When you are a transplanted Southerner, it shows up even in your hyperlinks).
2. The story needs to be YOUR story. In other words, you live a life as a differently-abled person. Or, you LOVE a differently-abled person and because of your relationship have an important voice about this topic.
3. My assumption is the posts will trickle in over the course of months (maybe a year! I can HOPE!). I will tag them with “Churches and Disabilities”.
Do you have an invisible illness and struggle with accessibility, acceptance, and inclusion?
Are you differently-abled, and wish some minor (or major) changes could be made to make it easier for you to attend your church?
Do you have a mental illness or diagnosis that is misunderstood and has the kind of stigma that a church pretends doesn’t exist?
Do you long for support groups hosted by area churches for:
Parents of Differently-abled Children
“Single Again” Care
Why not consider writing about it?
It doesn’t matter if you have never written for a blog before. You don’t have to consider yourself a “writer”. Hearing Elmo needs YOUR STORIES. I truly believe it will make a difference.
©2015 Personal Hearing Loss Journal