Friday, September 18, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 18 September 2020

Here are the highlights of posts this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf. Please note that many posts have additional comments and discussion which will not be reflected in these links.

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AMD
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DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.

UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.             

Friday, September 11, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 11 September 2020

Here are the highlights of posts this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf. Please note that many posts have additional comments and discussion which will not be reflected in these links.

-
AMD
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.

UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Deaf Awareness Week

Deaf Awareness Week is September 20-26, 2020

By Rev. Leo Yates, Jr.

Ready or not, here it comes. Deaf Awareness Week is observed and celebrated during the last week of September. Sometimes referred to International Week of the Deaf, this year's dates are Sunday, September 20, through September 26. 

This week is a time to raise awareness about Deaf culture, Deaf history, human rights and accessibility. During this special week, some Deaf ministries are hosting sign language classes, inviting a sign choir, incorporating specific Scripture references to Deaf and hard of hearing people, or viewing the Lord’s Prayer in sign language. The sky’s the limit with creativity for raising awareness.  

Rev. Kirk VanGilder and LaSander Saunders signing Communion liturgy.

(Rev. Kirk VanGilder and LaSander Saunders signing Communion liturgy.)

As a denomination, the United Methodist Church is committed to providing support for Deaf, hard-of-hearing, late-deafened, and Deafblind persons and families through General Conference legislation. At a time where diversity is sought, inclusion and further commitment to Deaf and hard-of-hearing persons are needed all the more.

Churches can consider one or more of the following as a way to highlight Deaf Awareness Week: 

  • Show the Lord's Prayer in sign language and encourage parishioners to follow or sign along
  • Teach a couple of church-related signs during announcements, highlighting Deaf awareness
  • Include Deaf-related Scripture readings such as Leviticus 19:14, Mark 7:32-37, or Luke 1:57-66
  • If slide announcements are used, include an informational slide about Deaf Awareness Week, or include this in e-mail announcements
  • Include bulletin inserts (see the United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries web site page "Congregational Resources" for examples)
  • On September 20, have the liturgist, deacon, or pastor open worship with "Good Morning" and "welcome" in ASL, explaining this is Deaf Awareness Sunday
  • Turn on the captions, especially if your service is online (see here for online inclusion ideas)
  • Share a 5 minute Deaf culture video during any virtual groups that meet during Deaf Awareness Week
  • Have a Deaf or hard-of-hearing person be a liturgist (1 in 3 seniors at 65 have mild hearing loss)

Several people gathered in a group, signing

(Deaf, hard-of-hearing, and Deafblind members of Conway UMC signing “Shout to the Lord”)

A helpful book for learning about or starting a Deaf ministry is Deaf Ministry: A Comprehensive Overview of Ministry Models, 3rd Ed. Also, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries Committee through Global Ministries offers a plethora of resources and small grants. The United Methodist Congress of the Deaf (UMCD) is a Deaf caucus that supports Deaf ministries throughout the denomination, with resources such as this helpful one-page chart, or these Deaf awareness activities.

Historically, the church has often overlooked, and even at times oppressed, Deaf and hard-of-hearing persons. This is known as audism. To place accessibility and relationships, which are the heart of Deaf ministries, in perspective, Deaf Awareness Week is a time to commit to being invitational and highlight the gifts of Deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and Deafblind persons. Certainly, relationships are central to worship and congregational life – with the Lord and with one another. What’s needed at your church to take an additional step toward inviting Deaf and hard-of-hearing persons? It makes for a great conversation during a church admin council or staff meeting.

* Rev. Leo Yates, Jr. is a deacon in full connection serving in the Baltimore-Washington Conference. He may be reached at RevYates@eumclaurel.org.


Friday, September 4, 2020

News and Notes from AMD, 4 September 2020

Here are the highlights of link postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf. Please note that many posts have additional comments and discussion which will not be reflected in these links.

-
AMD
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.

UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Friday, August 28, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 28 August 2020

Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf:

 -
AMD
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.

UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Friday, August 21, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 21 August 2020

Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf: 

-
AMD
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.

UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Friday, August 14, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 14 August 2020

Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf: 

-
AMD
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.

UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Friday, August 7, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 7 August 2020

 Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf. 


Whether a congregation remains closed, open limited or fully, our list of inclusion resources is still important. This includes materials from Disability Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries, and Mental Health Ministries, and webinars and similar events that are announced on short notice. In all of these situations, we ask that you show Christian love for others: stay aware of safety and be aware of signs of trauma or other health concerns, and follow conference recommendations.
-
-
AMD
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.

UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Friday, July 31, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 31 July 2020

Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf.

Whether a congregation remains closed, open limited or fully, our list of inclusion resources is still important. This includes materials from Disability Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries, and Mental Health Ministries, and webinars and similar events that are announced on short notice. In all of these situations, we ask that you show Christian love for others: stay aware of safety and be aware of signs of trauma or other health concerns, and follow conference recommendations.
-
-
AMD
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.

UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Navigating Deaf Ministries During a Pandemic

Navigating Deaf Ministries During a Pandemic
By Rev. Leo Yates, Jr.

Changing requirements in maintaining and expanding our faith communities comes in waves for church leaders. Learning through a lot of trial and error, best practices have emerged to support churches during the COVID-19 pandemic. One aspect of this is found in navigating Deaf ministries, which includes diverse aspects such as accessibility, programming, and dynamic worship for Deaf, hard-of-hearing, late-deafened, and Deafblind persons and their families.

A recent webinar hosted by three presenters partly addressed these ideas. Esther Choi, a Deaf Korean-American, explained how COVID-19 has hit the Deaf community hard, in particular, Deafblind persons who often rely on proximity and touch. Masks were touched on as most Deaf and hard-of-hearing persons rely on facial expressions, or, for some, lip-reading (here's a vendor list for clear masks). Choi emphasized the need to continue reaching out to our Deaf siblings. She was particularly pleased how her Deaf congregation at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church has been navigating virtual services and alternative programming. 
 
Esther Choi


Another webinar presenter, Rosalind McKelvey, an African-American sign language interpreter and Deaf ministry coordinator at Grace United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, PA encouraged webinar viewers to make further considerations when exploring inclusion of Deaf and hard of hearing persons. Briefly discussed were some of the signs within the Deaf community and among interpreters related to recent uprisings from the death of George Floyd. It is clear that Black Deaf communities have been impacted by racial tensions and the need for social change.  Through creativity and commitment, McKelvey shared about the weekly virtual camp her church had recently hosted. It brought persons together, young and old, to participate and be in community. 

 
 Zoom screenshot of participants


Rev. Leo Yates, a deacon serving in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, was the third presenter. He shared ideas about how to promote and expand Deaf ministries while emphasizing the need for accessible virtual services and programming. For instance, the use of captioning, alternative video platforms like Google Meet, which already has a captioning feature, along with social media blasts of promoting were explained. Most importantly, the need for prayer is seen as vital. Participants were encouraged to learn about the Deaf community’s history and struggles, including the Black Deaf history, white Deaf history, and Latinx Deaf perspectives.

It was clear in Jesus’ time when the father of John the Baptist, Zechariah, was included and provided accommodations during the naming ceremony (Luke 1:59-63), that we should do the same today. New and creative ways were mentioned, such as the creation of videos (such as this one on passing the peace) by Karen Miller, a Deaf Certified Lay Servant (CLS), and Carol Stevens, a CLS and a long-time sign language interpreter, in the Pen-Del Annual Conference. Emmanuel UMC in Laurel, MD is hosting a church cluster virtual sign language class starting in September to raise Deaf awareness and accessibility where more outreach can be made by various faith communities.

Creativity is the sky! The alternative is simply audism and that’s not the Good News we wish to share. Deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and Deafblind persons and their families need hope like the rest of us during times such as these.

* Rev. Yates can be reached at RevYates@eumclaurel.org to discuss Deaf ministry support. 
A one-page document with Deaf ministry ideas and resources can be found here.
More information about Deaf ministries can be found at the UM Committee on Deaf and Hard-of-hearing website.


Friday, July 24, 2020

News and notes from AMD, 24 July 2020


Here are the highlights of postings this week from the Association of Ministers with Disabilities, Disability Ministries Committee, Mental Health Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-hearing Ministries Committee, and UM Congress of the Deaf.

Whether a congregation remains closed, open limited or fully, our list of inclusion resources is still important. This includes materials from Disability Ministries, Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries, and Mental Health Ministries, and  webinars and similar events that are often announced on short notice. In all of these situations, we ask that you show Christian love for others: stay aware of safety and be aware of signs of trauma or other health concerns, and follow conference recommendations.
-
-
AMD
-
DHM/UMCD
-
DMC
-
MHM
-
Click here for a list of events of interest to people in disability ministry.
UMAMD logo with the UM Cross and Flame and several
          disability symbols
This newsletter is generally issued weekly by the
United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities,
a caucus of the United Methodist Church.

Click here to join this e-mail list.
This newsletter is also published on the UM Disability Blog
Visit us on the web or Facebook.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Face masks

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to widespread use of face masks. However, these masks are problematic for some people: one cannot lip read through the typical mask. Those with autism, claustrophobia, or related conditions often find it difficult to tolerate a mask. This list compiles the most useful articles we've found for adapting, from visible masks, to alternative attachment methods, and includes related topics. 

(This item will be updated as needed; updated 29 July 2020, first published 20 July 2020. Suggestions are welcome.)

Southeast ADA Center,

Job Accommodation Network,


Episcopal Conference for the Deaf, 

Facebook "My Mind": mask loop attachment to cap (July 2020)

Delta Faucet: ear saver loop (July 2020)

Indiana Association of the Deaf,

MIT Technology Review: The pandemic made life harder for deaf people. The solutions could benefit everyone. (May 2020)

Hearing Like Me: Face masks in school: Tips for navigating a new classroom (note: also useful for business and church settings) (June 2020)


NIH, National Institute on Deafness: Cloth face coverings and distancing pose communication challenges for many (July 2020)



CSULB: Covid-19 and the Deaf community (captioned video) (May 2020)