by Bianca Dubois

Inclusion often begins with understanding the diversity of disability; that it can be in how we communicate, our mobility or the way we process the world around us.

People and families who experience disability can at times feel isolated because community spaces are not always designed for their needs.

Most people and families report that community spaces that allow them to feel like they can be themselves can support them in feeling accepted and connected to their community.

Some practical steps to make your space inclusive can be:

  • having a quiet area for a person to access if they are feeling overwhelmed
  • including visual aids (basic and clear pictures) with your service information to help individuals with communication challenges
  • having a space in your church building where a person can walk or stand if they require more sensory input (your five senses that require stimuli)
  • providing a printed order of service (with visual aids) to share with attendees the different parts of the service and what happens at each point. This can include items such as times to sing or when everyone will sit and listen.

If ever you are in doubt as to how to support someone in your congregation, asking respectfully how you can make your communal space more accessible for them will always be a welcoming gesture of inclusion and support.

Bianca Dubois Is Principal Clinical Lead for Lutheran Care’s Positive Behaviour Support service, which is offered through its Elcies Disability Care branch.


Elcies Disability Care’s Positive Behaviour Support services can assist with:

  • Reducing Behaviours of Concern to minimise impact on home, education and community settings
  • Educating the client’s support team on Positive Behaviour Support approaches and interventions, to ensure positive outcomes and consistency for the person
  • Supporting and empowering clients, caregivers and support teams to manage Behaviours of Concern as they arise and improve quality of life for individuals
Already a subscriber? Click here to login and read this article.
Not a subscriber? Click here to receive stories & upcoming issues in full