Celebrate the ADA

Resources for Celebrating the ADA in Worship

There are many points in the service, any one of which would be a great time to honor the ADA 25th anniversary.  Some of these resources are new for this occasion, while others are long-time standards. 

Time for All Ages

  • Don’t call me Special by Pat Thomas
  • My Friend Isabelle by Eliza Woloson.
  • Don’t Laugh at Me by Steve Seskin
  • It’s Okay to be Different by Todd Parr
  • Let’s Talk About It: Extraordinary Friends by Fred Rogers

Or make your own!  Here’s an example from Meredith Plummer, Director of Religious Education at First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati:

There is a quote, often incorrectly attributed to Albert Einstein, that I believe could be turned into an interesting story and object lesson.  The quote goes “Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”  I can just imagine it now… a tree cut out, a stuffed fish, add a little back story and a little discussion, and you would have a really interesting Time for All Ages.

Chalice Lighting

For the 25th Anniversary of the ADA by Theresa Ines Soto

We light this chalice in the spirit of liberation, honoring the many activists who said over and over that disabled people belong here together with us.  We give thanks for the warmth of this light and for the twenty five years since the Americans with Disabilities Act passed.  We commit in the next twenty five to work for access, inclusion, and human freedom.


For the 25th Anniversary of the ADA by Suzanne Fast

Spirit of Love, lift up our hearts!

Today we celebrate the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which affirms the civil rights of people with disabilities in our country. We rejoice in the welcome the ADA has brought to people who had so long been unrecognized and hidden away. We are grateful for those who struggled so long and so hard to bring the promise of the ADA into law. We give thanks for our ancestors in activism, Ed Roberts and Justin Dart, whose strength and passion laid the foundations of the Act; for those who crawled up the Capitol steps, who wrote the letters, who told how it was.

We know, too, that as a society, we often fall short of the promise in the ADA. Even after 25 years, many places are not accessible. Many new technologies are not accessible. Many hearts have yet to make room for the lived experience of people with disabilities. Unemployment or segregated employment, the subminimum wage, inaccessible housing and transportation, mass incarceration and police violence, disenfranchisement, endless waiting lists for services that make independent living possible, and so many more obstacles show that inclusion is still only a promise.

May we join with all those who work to keep the spirit of the ADA strong. May we be numbered among the people who insist that the law is not mere words on paper, and work to bring down the barriers that still remain. May we pledge ourselves to affirm both that people with disabilities are worthy and part of the web that binds us each to the other. May all of us be accepted here for who we are, who are we becoming, and the unique gifts each of us brings to our community. May it always be so.

Responsive Readings