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Spring 2000 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)

National Organization on Disability Announces Over 550 Congregations from 50 States Have Committed to Welcoming People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, DC - The Religion and Disability Program of the National Organization on Disability (N.O.D.) announced today that over 550 congregations have signed on to the 2,000 by the Year 2000 - Accessible Congregations Campaign. The interfaith campaign, which challenges America's congregations to welcome people with all types of disabilities as full and active participants, has received pledges from congregations in all 50 states. The campaign's theme is Access: It Begins in the Heart.

The goal of the 2,000 by the Year 2000 - Accessible Congregations Campaign is to increase the religious participation of children and adults with disabilities. By joining the campaign, a congregation acknowledges that it has barriers, both physical and attitudinal, to the full participation of people with disabilities and commits to begin the process of removing them.

"We are well on the way to reaching our goal of 2,000 by the year 2000," said Ginny Thornburgh, Director of N.O.D.'s Religion and Disability Program. She added, "Ours is the only national disability program addressing interfaith issues. True religious access is about opening hearts, minds and doors to millions of Americans with disabilities who seek a full life of faith."

To join the campaign, an Accessible Congregation must commit to the following three principles:

N.O.D.'s Religion and Disability Program, an interfaith effort, was established in 1989 to urge local congregations, national denominational groups and seminaries to identify and remove the obstacles to worship that alienate people with disabilities. Resources available from the program include training conferences and publications such as the popular handbook That All May Worship, a step-by-step guide designed to help congregations to remove existing barriers. Ginny Thornburgh, co-author of That All May Worship, has directed the Religion and Disability Program at N.O.D. for the past ten years.

The National Organization on Disability promotes the acceptance and full participation in all aspects of life of America's 54 million men, women and children with physical, sensory or mental disabilities. Founded in 1982, N.O.D. is the only national disability network organization concerned with all disabilities, all age groups and all disability issues.

For more information about 2,000 by the year 2000 -Accessible Congregations Campaign, please contact N.O.D. at (202) 293-5960, TDD (202) 293-5968 or e-mail religion@nod.org. The committed congregations are listed by state on the Web at  www.nod.org.

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