Disability Inclusion Committee

The Saint James Disability Inclusion Committee is a voluntary ministry that supports the dignity of all human life regardless of age or physical, intellectual, or sensory abilities; promotes awareness and acceptance; strives to ensure full participation in the Mass and Sacraments and full involvement in our Parish community and activities; and assists our priests, deacon, and Parish volunteers to serve people with disabilities at Saint James.

Our Holy Catholic Church and the Arlington Diocese prioritize acceptance and accessibility.

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intention in December 2023 was for People with Disabilities: “We pray that people with disabilities may be at the center of attention in society, and that institutions offer inclusion programs that enhance their active participation.”

Bishop Burbidge specifically prioritizes people with disabilities in his Diocese of Arlington Strategic Plan, 2022-2026. Two of the key goals are to

1) “Increase access to diocesan youth groups and religious education for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities” and

2) “Establish an advisory group for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to share their ideas and concerns with diocesan leaders”

Committee Accomplishments
Through the leadership of Father Scalia, the Committee has accomplished wonderful improvements to support our mission, and is reviewing other parishioner needs:

  • Church restrooms have been renovated to be ADA-compliant in 2023. See below.
  • Sunday Masses at 10:30am and 2:30pm are live-streamed for parishioners who have challenges attending Mass in person.
  • A presentation was given to ushers and other volunteers to help them identify challenges and solutions for people with disabilities and/or accessibility needs in 2023.
  • A plan has been devised for people with disabilities and accessibility challenges to lector from the floor at Mass, e.g., parishioners in wheelchairs.

Join our committee and get involved!

In 2024, Committee meetings will be held at noon on the first Friday of the month in the Parish House. If you would like to attend but cannot be there in person, we will have a Zoom option. Email [email protected] to request the Zoom link. We encourage people with disabilities and/or accessibility challenges to join us and share your insights!

For more information and to join us, please email Anne Rohall-Andrade at [email protected].