“Church Materials Available for Those with Disabilities,” Ensign, Dec. 2001, 68
A childhood bout with meningitis left Brenda Jorgenson, now 22, with the inability to communicate verbally and the mental development of a seven-year-old.
But Brenda, a member of the Basin City First Ward, Pasco Washington Stake, learned to communicate using American Sign Language (ASL), and she also learned to love the Book of Mormon. So Brenda was delighted when she saw an article in the July 2001 Ensign about the release of the Book of Mormon in ASL on videocassette.
“Brenda carried the article around with her for weeks, begging us to order the videos,” said her mother, Anne Jorgenson. “But I kept putting it off because I was sure it was something we couldn’t afford for a while.”
When Sister Jorgenson called the distribution center to ask how much the videos cost, “the phone clerk said they were ‘two-fifty,’ then put me on hold,” said Sister Jorgenson. “While I was waiting I knew that even though $250 was a lot of money, we would buy this for Brenda because she needed it, though we might have to wait until we could afford it.”
When the clerk returned and clarified that the entire sequence of videos cost a total of two dollars 50 cents, Sister Jorgenson told him he must have made a mistake. “Then he explained that the Church had decided that the price of any version of the Book of Mormon—whether it was in Spanish or ASL or any other language—wouldn’t exceed the price of the standard English version,” said Sister Jorgenson. “I got all choked up I was so grateful.”
The ASL Book of Mormon is just one of hundreds of Church items available for free or for a nominal cost to accommodate people with hearing, visual, physical, learning, mental, and other disabilities. Examples include simplified scripture readers, the annual children’s sacrament meeting presentation in Braille and ASL, manuals on teaching those with disabilities, and a wide range of curriculum items in large type, on audiocassette or CD, or in Braille.
For a complete list of these items, see the “Materials for Those with Disabilities” section of a Church materials catalog, available at your local distribution center, local meetinghouse, or on the Internet at www.ldscatalog.com.