Resources for Those with Disabilities
In addition to providing access to Church buildings, leaders of the Church also work to help those hearing impaired participate in the meetings.
Some members may be unaware of the efforts made to overcome the acoustical challenges in Church buildings in the United States. If the building has been built in the past thirty years (after 1986), it has been equipped with a wireless FM system called a Comtek device. Most older buildings have been updated with this technology. The device transmits from the chapel audio system directly to a set of headphones that are available in the building’s library. Listeners receive a direct signal to the audio without any distracting noises. The system is not available in the various other classrooms found in the meetinghouse.
Many Church materials are provided in a variety of accessible formats including braille, captioned video, audio, and large print formats. Electronic Braille and text files can be downloaded from lds.org/Braille. Many materials are also available in American Sign Language.
The First Presidency has said that “There is an even greater need to reduce the barriers imposed by a lack of understanding and acceptance of those who have disabilities.” The Church disability website, disabilities.lds.org, is available in 10 languages and helps members with disabilities, families, teachers, and leaders.
The Church Handbook 2 indicates that “the bishopric or stake presidency may call a ward or stake disability specialist to help individuals and families. The disability specialist would help facilitate increased participation and inclusion of Church members with disabilities. The disability specialist serves as a “resource for ward and stake leaders.”