Petition 81390

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Print Handicaps (81390-FA-R9999)

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Strengthening Inclusivity of Individuals with Print Handicaps
  
    Whereas, the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church declare that our denomination is to be in ministry with persons with disabilities, including those whose particular needs are in the area of communication (2004 Book of Discipline, ΒΆ162.G),  
Whereas, our communities in the United States alone include approximately 10 million persons who are blind and visually impaired, 55,200 of whom are children, whose faith journeys might be initiated, nurtured, steadied or enriched by specialized resources, print or media, or specially designed curriculum, created with the specific goal of promoting independence, equal access and inclusivity,
Whereas, individual churches in The United Methodist connection wish to be in ministry to all persons, including those that are blind, visually impaired and print handicapped, and yet often do not have the expertise or the financial resources to develop inclusive resources/curriculum themselves,
Whereas, without resources and curriculum to meet the spiritual needs of persons who are blind, visually impaired and print handicapped, many individuals, and possibly their families, will feel neglected by and excluded from the Body of Christ,
Whereas, the offerings of The United Methodist Publishing House, Discipleship Resources, and United Methodist Communications in terms of resources in Braille, audio recorded, electronic format suitable for speech readers, and accessible web-based formats are limited at best, resulting in exclusion from worship, Sunday School classes, Bible studies, small group ministries, evangelism, and stewardship activities,
Therefore, be it resolved, that the General Conference of The United Methodist Church calls upon The United Methodist Publishing House, Discipleship Resources, and United Methodist Communications to address this lack of accessible resources and limited curriculum available for people who are blind, visually impaired and print handicapped, with resolve that our denomination, through the ministries of its publication and marketing agencies, might deepen the faith of those experiencing blindness, visual impairment and print handicaps and enable them and their families to be more fully included in the Body of Christ and its ministries.