Parish catechetical programs should meet the needs of children with disabilities and diverse learners. Best teaching practices include flexible grouping, adaptive materials, and natural supports. Classroom formats include:
- Typical Classroom: student participates in a typical classroom with peers without extra help or adaptions.
- Classroom Supports: student participates in a typical classroom with adapted material, a catechist aide, or adapted material.
- Learning Support Classroom: student participates in small group learning with adapted curriculum.
- Individualized instruction: a student is catechized independently, and joins peers for prayer, liturgies, and special activities.
It is important to note that the U.S. Bishops recommend that persons with disabilities should participate in a typical classroom with their peers as much as possible.
Parish catechetical and sacramental preparation programs may need to be adapted for some parishioners with disabilities, though, as much as possible, persons with disabilities should be integrated into the ordinary programs. They should not be segregated for specialized catechesis unless their disabilities make it impossible for them to participate in the basic catechetical program. Even in those cases, participation in parish life is encouraged in all ways possible.
- Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities, Revised Edition, USCCB, 2017, par.5.
Browse the catechetical resources below for more information!