“Who Do I Work With?” My Calling as a Ward Disability Specialist (2020).
“Who Do I Work With?” My Calling as a Ward Disability Specialist.
As you seek to understand how to help individuals with disabilities strengthen their faith and receive the blessings of the gospel, remember that the members themselves and their families or other caregivers are generally the best resource for information. They know about the strengths and challenges that come with a specific disability and can help you identify if help is needed and how to best support them. From there, you can work with them, with teachers and leaders in your ward, and with the stake disability specialist, if one is called, to discuss specific plans to provide love and support to members with disabilities and their families or other caregivers.
Build sincere relationships with members with disabilities in your ward to help them feel loved and help them come unto Christ.
Develop trusting relationships with the families or other caregivers of members with disabilities. Keep in mind that they may need physical, spiritual, and emotional support as well as rest from their daily routine.
The stake disability specialist, if one is called, will provide support and encouragement in your calling. Meet with the stake disability specialist frequently to discuss your needs and accomplishments.
Counsel together with organization and priesthood quorum leaders and teachers about what types of accommodations and modifications could be made in lessons, visuals, and activities to make sure that all lessons and activities are inclusive.
You may be prompted to discuss with ward leaders the benefit of a lesson that focuses on helping leaders and teachers understand disabilities and the specific needs of members in your ward. You may teach this lesson, or it may be taught by a stake disability specialist, if one has been called.
Work with quorum and organization presidencies to help members with disabilities and their families or other caregivers find community resources they can access at low cost or no charge.
Encourage the elders quorum and Relief Society presidencies to have ward disability specialists function as additional levels of ministering leaders for families who are touched by disability.
Encourage ward leaders to learn about the Church-service mission program.
You report to the bishopric. Under the direction of the bishopric, you may be assigned to report to another leader, such as the elders quorum or Relief Society president. Counsel with the bishopric or other assigned leader to determine how often you should report to them.
You will work with members of the ward council to meet the needs of members with disabilities and their families or other caregivers. As needed or as invited, you may attend ward council meetings in order to discuss these needs and coordinate your efforts with those of ward leaders.