Parish Resources

St. Charles Borromeo, the Patron Saint of Catechists

The Office for Persons with Disabilities of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati offers assistance and support to parishes regarding ministry with persons with disabilities.  Below are a number of valuable resources for parishes and Catholic schools to read, print or purchase.  We have also included several professional development opportunities that focus around ministry with persons with disabilities.  If you have a specific need or question that you would like to discuss, we are always available.  Please CONTACT US with your needs and we will be happy to assist you.

For the most current information on advocacy for persons with disabilities in the Catholic Church, check out the National Catholic Partnership on Disabilities Website. The NCPD works to provide resources for individuals, families, caregivers, parishes and dioceses to create a more inclusive church and society.

Church Documents

Create welcoming and accessible parishes using the information and suggestions in this resource from the experts at the National Catholic Partnership on Disability. The guide contains resources to help a parish evaluate its efforts to welcome parishioners with disabilities and gather better information about disabled parishioners.

Interpreter Services

Below is a compiled list of organizations that provide ASL Interpreting for hire. This list is intended for parishes to use as a means of providing ASL for the Deaf Community. Most of these businesses require a 2 hour minimum pay for their interpreting services and may include mileage in the cost. Offering such services during Mass, parish gatherings, and social events is a great way to welcome the deaf community into your parish.

CLICK HERE for the Policy for Working with Sign Language Interpreters in Catholic Religious Settings from the NCOD.

Business NamePhone NumberRegion Served
Affordable Languages(513)745-0888Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky
Cincinnati Speech Hearing & Deaf Center(513)221-0527Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky
Deaf Choice(513)608-1695Greater Cincinnati, N. Kentucky & Dayton/Kettering
Deaf Service Center of Northwest Ohio(419)720-3935Toledo
Deaf Service Center of Northwest Ohio(740)370-4401Portsmouth
Deaf Service Center of Northwest Ohio(614)841-1991Worthington & Columbus
Miami Valley Interpreters(937)222-8200Dayton/Kettering
Northern Kentucky Services for the Deaf, Inc.(859)372-5255Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky

Publishers & Printables

Below are a variety of resources for parish staff, catechists, Catholic school teachers, and parents to utilize in creating a more inclusive catechetical experience for persons with disabilities.  These resources have been developed by Catholic professionals and cover a wide range of needs for individuals with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, blindness and vision loss, hard-of-hearing and the Deaf community.


These materials compiled by the ACE Program at the University of Notre Dame following is a collection of articles and writings concerning the issue of educating children with disabilities in Catholic schools. The writings range from a discussion of basic Catholic principles regarding respect and value of persons with disabilities, and then directly addresses the particular issues involved in educating children with disabilities in the Catholic school classroom.

This handbook reflects on the needs of individuals with a wide range of disabilities and calls on catechists and religious education programs to consider special needs students for their mainstream and specialized programs.

Adaptive Finding God is the foremost program of its kind, offering faith formation for children with special needs that is adaptable for a variety of settings and situations. Adaptive Finding God can be used in conjunction with the Finding God grade-level books or as a stand-alone program for parishes, schools, and at home.

Loyola Press also publishes Adaptive Learning Kits for Sacramental Prep and a fantastic book called The Adaptive Teacher that assists catechists in developing best practice strategies to implement in the classroom.

My First Eucharist- A comprehensive home preparation process for families. This six lesson program provides the necessary formation prior to the reception of the Sacrament of First Eucharist. The program provides lesson plans, activities, video library that contains lesson videos and glossary of terms in ASL.​

A program designed by the NCOD in American Sign Language to prepare individuals who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing for the Sacrament of Confirmation, DVD & Guide. This program includes video and lesson plans and can also be used for RCIA.

Click the title for more information or CLICK HERE to order.

This DVD features in-depth looks at people with mental illness and how they participate in parish life. It examines the four aspects of recovery: biological, psychological, social, and spiritual. Parish considerations include setting boundaries, acute behavior, confidentiality, and suicide.

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Program

This program was developed to improve Catholic Religious Education for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It includes a comprehensive religion curriculum designed to help parents and catechists in their task of teaching special children and adults about the Catholic faith.

As part of the University of Dayton the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives, serves as a support network and resource to individuals with disabilities and their families by providing DVD’s, and print resources, consultations, and networking opportunities on the national and local level.

Since its founding, the Xavier Society has continued its pioneering mission by adding large print, vinyl records, audio cassette and most recently MP3 digital formats to its Braille offerings. In 1995, the Xavier Society was the first to transcribe the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church, including footnotes and indices, into three formats. As new translations of Scripture and readings and prayers for the Mass have been approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Xavier Society was ready to transcribe and offer them to our clients.

ASL Sacraments & PRayers

Printable Resources

Below are downloadable and printable resources.  Simply click on the icon to download and print.

Professional Development

Below are several organizations that provide continued education for people who would like to pursue a better understanding of ministering with persons with disabilities. These courses are relevant for parish staff, catechists, and Catholic school educators.

IRIS develops and disseminates free online open educational resources (OERs) about evidence-based instructional and behavioral practices. Intended for use in personnel preparation and professional development, these instructional resources are designed to help current and future educators improve the learning and behavioral outcomes of all students, especially struggling learners and those with disabilities.

The SCERTS® Model is a research-based educational approach and multidisciplinary framework that directly addresses the core challenges faced by children and persons with ASD and related disabilities, and their families. SCERTS® focuses on building competence in Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support as the highest priorities that must be addressed in any program, and is applicable for individuals with a wide range of abilities and ages across home, school and community settings.

CLICK HERE for a downloadable information guide.

St. Rita’s School for the Deaf offers Sign Language Classes. We are thrilled when people in our community want to learn ASL and connect with deaf culture, so we are committed to giving you the tools you need to succeed. These classes are designed to enable you to have the ability to converse with most deaf or hard of hearing persons in your community! All of the instructors are highly skilled in sign language. Some of them teach deaf and hard of hearing persons in a school setting, are interpreters, or use sign language as their daily mode of communication. Click above to learn more about when these classes are offered.

The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) is a growing initiative to offer adult religious education and faith formation anytime and anywhere via the internet. The goal is to support the church’s professional ministry of religious education and faith formation in cyberspace. The VLCFF offers a huge variety of courses and they have a certificate program in Special Needs Ministry.

Contact Us:

Bob Wurzelbacher

Office Director

Lisa Averion

Associate Director