The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strives to ensure that all within its reach, including those with disabilities, are valued and welcomed. A past statement by the First Presidency of the Church states that although physical accommodations like access to buildings and facilities are important, it is not sufficient: “There is an even greater need to reduce the barriers imposed by a lack of understanding and acceptance of those who have disabilities.” The First Presidency urges increasing awareness, understanding, acceptance and appreciation of those with disabilities, for “it is [the members’] opportunity and ... responsibility to follow the example of Jesus in loving our neighbors, and that includes those with disabilities.”
Below are examples of some of the ways that the Church seeks to welcome and integrate members with disabilities:
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strives to make its buildings and facilities accessible to people with disabilities.
- Many Church materials are provided in a variety of accessible formats including braille, audio, captioned video and large print formats. Many Church materials are also available in American Sign Language.
- The seminary and institute programs provide religious education opportunities for youth and young adults with disabilities.
- Seminary and institute classes in American Sign Language are available over the Internet using videophones. These programs are available for deaf youth and young adults of the Church throughout the United States who are interested in studying the scriptures.
- The Church disability website at disabilities.lds.org is available in 10 languages and provides information, guidance and teaching helps for members with disabilities, families, teachers and leaders.
- Many wards or stakes assign a disability specialist to help congregations better include members with disabilities.
- Deseret Industries, the Church-owned vocational rehabilitation facility and community thrift store, offers vocational rehabilitation services for members with disabilities.
- The Young Church-Service Missionary program provides service opportunities for hundreds of young adults with disabilities.
- LDS Humanitarian Services sponsors a global wheelchair program as well as a vision treatment program.
Mormon.org Profiles of Members with Disabilites