Disability Awareness Sunday

Beyond Sunday

In New Zealand, Disability Awareness Sunday (DAS) is observed on the third Sunday in June. This year it is on 18th June 2023

It is an opportunity to be intentional about disability awareness but it's not just about raising awareness. It's also about celebrating and encouraging people with disabilities in their gifts and ministries. To recognise how we contribute and are valuable members of the Body of Christ.

So, you’ve got a ramp into your church, a hearing aid loop system and even a quiet room where people can go when they are overwhelmed but can still see and hear the sermon. Well done! That’s great that you’re aware and active in ensuring more people with disabilities can come to church and worship with the rest of the church body. But what about between Sundays?

Many of us know the importance of the church body coming together throughout the week to connect, commune and build genuine relationships within the Body of Christ. People with disabilities need this too. However, their needs are often overlooked or misunderstood. This year for Disability Awareness Sunday we’re asking you to think ‘Beyond Sunday’ in ensuring that people with disabilities are given the opportunities for genuine connections and relationships with other Christians and church members in a meaningful way.

For each individual this may look different. It might be having the opportunity to join in the youth group with their peers, or being given a lift to a weekly small group, or even support to attend the church camp. For Sunday services should not be the only time that the people of God connects, but we need to connect every day.


Ways You Can Observe Disability Awareness Sunday

Often people haven't had the opportunity to get to know a person living with a disability so it can be difficult to understand or be aware of what life with a disability can be like. We find that the best way to gain a better understanding is to hear from people with disabilities themselves! Is there someone in your church who has a disability that would be willing to speak in church? If not there are some amazing speakers we could recommend. Sometimes it's not always practical to have a visiting speaker or you might live in an area where someone isn't available. That's why we have created a collection of stories on film, so you can download and play these in your church, small group, youth group, kids programme, or wherever!

Below are some resources we are pleased to have freely available for you.

Christian Leaders Articles 

In 2022 we published articles around 1 Corinthians 12 exploring the topics of unity, honour, contribution, and love.

Click here to view the articles


Jacqui is sitting and smiling with her guide dog in front of her houseOur Stories 

We have a collection of professionally filmed videos of people's lives and lived experiences of disability. Many of these stories highlight the importance of hope. These are available for you to show and share.

Click here to view them


Outline of a person sitting in a wheelchair at a church pulpit with the words Disability Awareness Sunday underneath

Disability Awareness Service Ideas

Needing some ideas for how your church can observe Disability Awareness Sunday? 

We created this booklet with a variety of suggestions and examples of what you could do on Disability Awareness Sunday.

Click here to view it online or download it

Links to other resources 

Joni and Friends TV Episodes Online

Irresistible Church

NZCN Note on Disability and the Church