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Religious freedom for all

Even though the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed and fully implemented in 1992, not all facilities were required to become “accessible.”  The ADA covered “public accommodations” but has no authority over private institutions and organizations. So let’s talk a bit about “places of worship.”

Churches, synagogues, fellowships or whatever a place of worship chooses to be called do not fall under the auspices, rules and guidelines of the ADA.  Because these institutions are private religious organizations, they are not required to become compliant with Title III of the ADA regarding “public accommodations.”

Now, I have been in many places of worship and have yet to find one where I can’t get through the doors.  Yet once inside, many an obstacle has been found.  Probably the most annoying and inconvenient situation is an inaccessible restroom.  Classrooms and the like can easily be made accommodating but once the plumbing is in place it’s difficult to change.

Situations like this can be very discouraging to people with disabilities.  As usual, changes can be made (and should be) but it’s usually a slow process.  Change will not be made until the problem area is brought to the attention of those in authority.

Check out your place of worship for accessibility issues and report your findings to those in authority. Try to get a plan of action to make necessary changes.

In a land that was founded on religious freedom, would it be a shame if we all were not comfortable in our respective places of worship?

If you would like more information or one of our free brochures like “Making Your Community Accessible” or “The Americans With Disabilities Act” to pass out in your community call us toll free at 1-888-503-7955 or email us at info@maysmission.org. These brochures were produced by employees with disabilities here at Mays Mission. Thanks and please share in the comments section.

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Everything in life happens for a reason

Everything in life happens for a reason.  So often we as humans just don’t understand why.  Sometimes disabilities are a result of our own mistakes such as drinking and driving or merely not thinking before acting.

When one is born with a disability or is genetically predisposed to a disabling condition we all too often go to God and ask “why?” In our finite way of thinking we often see the disability as something negative, only thinking of ourselves. This is not to say that we cannot question God or pray and ask Him to deliver us from our illnesses. 

My grand-nephew, the grandson of my brother, was born with Down syndrome. My brother, in his first reactions, questioned God wondering how such a thing could happen.  After much thought and a grieving process he found peace. In his prayer time, while seeking God’s comfort the thought came to him; “Has God ever made a mistake?” Without a doubt, the answer had to be “No!”

In the New Living Translation, Romans 8:28 says “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” It didn’t say “some things,” it says “all things.”

Even though disabilities happen, and whether or not they ever disappear, our lives touch and affect others. Whether it’s for inspiration or to cause us be thankful for what God has given us, everything has its purpose. 

Thank you for your support of Mays Mission for the Handicapped. If you would like more information or free brochures to hand out in your community and help us advocate on behalf of individuals with disabilities call us or email us at info@maysmission.org today. And feel free to share your experiences in the comments section.

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A wheelchair for Joshua

Mays Mission for the Handicapped is proud to announce we donated a wheelchair to former employee Joshua Garret. Joshua was very proud to receive the wheelchair, saying “This is much appreciated as I enter the next phase of my life.”

We originally bought the wheelchair while Joshua was working for us because, as a double amputee, it was difficult for him to be on his prosthetics all day. Joshua said it was much nicer and in better condition than his chair at home and could use one for home as well.

We were more than happy to provide him with this chair and we wish Joshua well in all his future endeavors.

To learn more call us or comment and we would be glad to provide you with more information and free brochures to help advocate on behalf of people with disabilities in your community. These brochures were produced by employees with disabilities like Joshua.

Thanks for you support!

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Become an advocate for people with disabilities today!

What can we do to improve the lives of others, especially those with disabilities?

The dictionary describes an “advocate” as one who publicly supports or suggests an idea, development or way of doing something.

Here at Mays Mission, our primary goal is to aid and assist people with disabilities. Yes, putting to work those who may have difficulty finding gainful employment is one facet of our purpose yet there is so much more.

Public education regarding the abilities and capabilities of people with disabilities is of utmost importance. You see, through our various programs and direct mail, we have the opportunity to inform and educate the public throughout the country that given the opportunity, people with disabilities can become productive citizens.

Through our On-The-Job Training Program we have seen scores of people with a variety of disabilities come and go here at Mays Mission while others have chosen to stay with us. It’s heartwarming to know that some have bought their own homes, learned to drive and purchased automobiles, while some have moved on to bigger and better opportunities. Seeing people succeed and become more independent where at one time hope seemed lost is an indescribable feeling. This On-The-Job Training Program is only possible because of the kind hearts of our donors.

For over fifty years now here at Mays Mission we have had one goal: to aid and assist people with disabilities. Won’t you please join us?  Call us at 1-888-503-7955, email us at info@maysmission.org or message us on Facebook or Instagram to learn more about our programs and see how you can be an advocate for people with disabilities. We have brochures produced by individuals with disabilities we can send you free of charge to share in your community. And we accept donations through Paypal, just click the donate button here on our website. Thank you so much for your help in our mission of over 50 years of serving the disabled!

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Disability is Ok!

I once wrote about my pastor’s son going to St. Louis for some specified surgery to relieve spasticity related to cerebral palsy (CP).  He is doing very well and the doctors are extremely pleased with the outcome. Pastor said something about it in one of his sermons which sincerely hit home with me. In preparing to make the trip from Searcy, Arkansas to St. Louis, my pastor asked his son if he was still feeling good about the pending surgery. The response was positive and then further explained: “You know daddy, I’m really not that disappointed with the life I have now.” Dad was dumbfounded!

Those not having to deal with disability in the first-person (they themselves afflicted), often try to push or force “cures,” “healing processes,” or the latest technologies on to those they care for.  For certain, this desire to see a son, daughter, brother or sister cured of their disability stems from a deep, sincere love.

Sometimes though, as stated above, people with disabilities are satisfied to live the life that has been dealt them.  It’s not that bad.  Our desires to see improvements in the quality of life of others are good, commendable and probably natural, especially in the eyes of loving parents.  And, even though parents often know what’s best, it is a good idea (most of the time) to include “everyone” in the decision-making process.

Discuss disabilities with loved ones.  If they are comfortable with life the way life is, it may be best to simply love them like you always have and leave well enough alone.  Just some food for thought!

Thank you for your support. Feel free to call us or email us for copies of brochures like “The Spirit of Volunteerism” or “Faith In Action Caregivers Alliance” that were produced by employees with disabilities right here at Mays Mission.

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Exposure Breeds Comfort

For many people who have little exposure or experience with a disabled individual, the initial focus of the new relationship, unfortunately, is on the disability. As we have come to know, getting truly acquainted with someone takes much more than concentrating on physical characteristics. Focusing on the disability instead of the inner-beauty and personality causes uneasiness. A true and lasting relationship will take much longer to develop. If the disability is deafness, you may become very self-conscious about what you are not saying or communicating with your hands. If the disability is blindness, you may become self-conscious about pointing or saying phrases such as “see you later,” and so on. The truth is that you will probably be uneasy until your relationship has had time to develop. Focusing on a disability will only cause delay in your maturing relationship. Consider this, that you too, must be yourself in order for the good and healthy relationship to properly develop. This is true of all relationships, not simply with the disabled. In a “normal” relationship, factors such as gender, age, race, and physical features seem very pronounced when we first meet. These features quickly become secondary, and we eventually lose awareness of them completely. The same can and should be true when getting to know the disabled. Be at ease. Be yourself. Treat your new-found friend the same way that you would like to be treated. That’s the best way to develop and nurture a relationship that is long and lasting.

Please feel free to share in the comments section. If you would like more information call us at 1-888-503-7955 or email us at info@maysmission.org and thank you for supporting people with disabilities!