“I hope that we welcome and love all of God’s children, including those who might dress, look, speak, or just do things differently. … Let us lift those around us. … Let us bestow … a special measure of humanity, compassion, and charity so that they feel, at long last, they have finally found home” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “You Are My Hands,” Liahona, May 2010).
Young Women leaders, you are encouraged to follow the Savior’s example of offering hope, understanding, and love to those who have disabilities. Get to know them and show genuine interest and concern.
Activity Programs for Young Women with Special Needs
“Priesthood and auxiliary leaders also identify members who may need additional care because a parent, child, or sibling has a disability” (Handbook 2, 21.1.26).
If there are members with disabilities who have needs greater than can be met by the individual, family, or ward, leaders may establish an activity program for members with disabilities to supplement ward activities.
An activity program can be organized within a ward, group of wards, stake, or group of stakes or based on the age of participants. Generally an activity program should not exceed 40 active participants.
Before recommending an activity program in multiple stakes, the stake presidents should evaluate the needs of members and coordinate based on those needs. Participating stakes share financial responsibility and require approval from the Presidency of the Seventy or Area Presidency to establish an activity program.
Under the direction of stake leaders, overseeing bishops and couples should be called to serve as leaders. Priesthood leaders may call a committee to coordinate activities, review program needs, and approve the annual budget. Priesthood leaders will also determine the frequency of activities as well as participation in further activities such as Young Women camp.
Members with disabilities who are involved in such activity programs should always continue attending their home ward.
Personal Progress Resources
Resources are available for young women with disabilities. Both the ASL version of Personal Progress and a more visual and simplified version for young women with special needs can be accessed within the Personal Progress website. Click on a value name to access the ASL version. Click on a value experience to access the adapted version for those with special needs.
Additionally, the entire Personal Progress booklet for young women with special needs is available.
“Our True Identity,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf