Levels of Inclusion in Religious Education are:
In 1998 The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement for individuals with disabilities titled Welcome and Justice for Persons with Disabilities.This moral framework is based upon Catholic documents and serves as a guide for thought and action. The framework states:
Legally, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and amended in 2008, gives clear guidelines for employers and social entities in regards to working with individuals with disabilities. Information regarding ADA can be found at www.ada.gov. For a clearer understanding of how ADA rules apply to religious institutions the book A Loving Justice: The Moral and Legal Responsibilities of the U.S. Catholic Church under the Americans with Disabilities Act, published by the National Catholic Office for Persons with Disabilities in 1995 is a helpful resource.
In summary, this book states:
The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gave children and adults with disabilities an equal chance to participate fully in society. This law coincides with the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church.
Under ADA a disability is defined as having: mobility and sensory impairments, mental illness, mental retardation, learning disabilities and disabilities caused by illness. The 2008 amendment expands the definition to allow for the current definitions to be broader and include more individuals.
Areas of ADA that impact the Catholic Church are:
- Title I: Employment – Catholic organizations that employ 15 or more persons are responsible to comply with Title I requirements. This means that they cannot discriminate during the employment process based on a disability; a clear job description stating the essential functions required to perform a given job adequately should be developed; pre-employment inquiries about a disability are prohibited; reasonable accommodations need to be met if a person is hired with a disability
- Title II: Public Services – deals with state and local governments and public transportation. Some restrictions may apply to Catholic organizations if a public service is provided to that organization, such as a senior meal program to a Catholic housing facility.
- Title III: Public Accommodations – does not apply to religious organizations or entities controlled by religious organizations, including places of worship.
- Title IV: Telecommunications – telephone relay services need to be supplied if offering telephone services to the general public.
- Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions – covers various legislative responsibilities and terms.
Pastoral Statement of U.S. Catholic Bishops on People with Disabilities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1978.
Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1995.