Physical Disabilities and Mobility Needs

Ministry for people with physical disabilities

It is important to remember that there are many different types of accessibility needs and that physical barriers can be overcome with thoughtfulness and planning. By our baptism, each person is called to be a part of a parish community. If a physical limitation provides a barrier to participating in a way that you feel God is calling you to serve, please contact your pastor and/or the Apostolate so that we can work with you and your pastor to overcome these barriers in your parish. We also encourage all event organizers, staff, and parishioners to be aware of accessibility needs. We know that there are some people who, because of current barriers, are not frequently on location to communicate their needs.

  • Events
    • At our annual summer event, the Apostolate does everything we can to enable everyone to attend. Please assist us in doing so by letting us know what your specific needs are when registering for this and all Diocesan events.
    • The St. Margaret Mass in April is hosted at Holy Name Heights. There is an elevator to the 1st floor (oratory level) and then a lift to enter the oratory itself. The reception following the Mass is in the lower level, also accessible by elevator. There is a wheelchair available for public use as well.
  • Grants
    • The Apostolate is able to provide financial assistance to parishes who want to updates their parish buildings so that they are accessible to all parishioners.
    • Projects/items such as:
      • Ramps allowing access to building, Sanctuary (which is important to allow access to readers, servers, and sacristans), gathering spaces, offices, etc.
      • Automatic door openers for bathrooms, gathering spaces, building entry, main sanctuary and chapels, etc.
      • Elevators
      • Accessible restrooms (stalls, sinks, single occupancy rooms, adult changing tables)
      • Accessible confessionals
  • TV Mass
    • Since 1967, the Apostolate has provided a weekly TV mass celebrated by a priest from our diocese for those who are home-bound or have difficulty getting to their church.
    • Times and channels
      • 6am on WISC-TV 3
      • 7am on TVW (Channel 3.2 for those with antennas) and Direct TV 14 (Cable)
      • Past masses are posted to our Facebook page on Sunday mornings or can be found on Youtube by going to the Channel 3000 Youtube page.

Etiquette suggestions and considerations for persons with Physical/Mobility needs:

  • Make sure it is clearly marked and that ushers and greeters are aware of directions to accessible restrooms, confessionals, elevators, ramps, etc.
  • Greet the person with the same tone and language that you would use with anyone else. Remember that a physical disability does not also mean that someone is also hard of hearing or has a cognitive disability as well.
  • Always ask before offering help. It is okay for a person to decline your offer.
  • Ask about preferred location for seating.
  • Only touch a person’s wheelchair or walker with permission.
  • Ask a person using crutches or a cane if they prefer to use the stairs, ramp, or elevator and direct them accordingly.
  • When supporting a person using a cane or crutches, do so by walking behind them so that you do not accidentally grab their arm, which can throw off their balance.
  • Speak directly to the person who is in the wheelchair, has a walker, etc. and not to the person that may be accompanying them.
  • A person with a respiratory or heart condition may have difficulty walking long distances. Offer a place to rest before ushering to a seat.
  • Consider where there are spaces for wheelchairs, walkers, etc and design a way to ensure that area is kept open for those who need it.

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