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Product Information Office for Cultural Diversity and Persons with Disabilities (Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh)

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 Full Description: 
The the Diocese of Pittsburgh merged their Offices for Black Catholic Ministries, for Ethnic Ministries and for Persons with Disabilities to create the Office for Cultural Diversity and Persons with Disabilities.

The Department for Persons with Disabilities is an office within the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh focused on assisting parishes to include people with disabilities in worship and other activities. The program focuses on the needs of persons with cognitive disabilities, hearing loss/deafness, physical disabilities, and vision loss/blindness.

From an article on the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh about the merger:

"'There can be no separate church for persons of different races, colors, disabilities or national origins. Indeed, the vitality of the church can truly be measured by how we treat those whom society has often placed on the margins,' Bishop Zubik said in a statement making the announcement.

'Yet, sadly, we know that even in our church there are times when race, color, ability or national origin denied people equal access to a place at the table. The Diocese of Pittsburgh has worked for many years to ensure that we recognize all as brothers and sisters, that all are welcomed as persons of dignity and talent, that all are included fully in the life of the church,' Bishop Zubik said."

Click on the "Web Links" tab above to read an article about the creation of the office and visit the Quality Mall listings of the national Catholic initiatives on which the office's work is based. The office supports the following programs:

1. Disability Awareness Masses
This is actually a checklist parishes can use to assure all masses are accessible to people with a range of abilities and disabilities.

2. Parish Advocacy
The role of the parish advocate is to follow the example of Christ the Good Shepherd and seek out parishioners who have disabilities and together determine their spiritual, religious and ministry needs. The parish advocate will be recommended to the program by the pastor of their parish.

3. Opening Doors
This is an educational awareness program about understanding Persons with disabilities. It is designed for students, Grades K through 12, in Catholic Schools, Religious Formation Programs, Youth and Parent Groups.

-Based on information taken from the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh's website as viewed on 4/29/13 (www.diopitt.org/departments-amp-offices/secretariat-catholic-education/department-persons-disabilities/dep)
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This web site is maintained by the Research and Training Center on Community Living with support from the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, the Human Services Research Institute and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. E-mail weste050@umn.edu.
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