Special Touch Disability Friendly Church Certification (DFC)
The DFC program is designed to encourage, instruct, and empower churches in Disability Ministry. A church certified through this program will receive access to tools, information, and training designed to enhance and develop the Disability Ministry within their church.
Special Touch Ministry leadership provide guidance and direction to local churches, all services to people with disabilities are still overseen, insured and administered by the local church. In order to avoid any relative confusion and misunderstanding, Special Touch Ministry, Inc. requests local church disability ministry groups to avoid using “Special Touch” in any local program identification.
Special Touch Chapters of America
Special Touch Chapters are designed to be a community-based ministry. Special Touch Chapters minister, mentor, disciple and serve people impacted by disability. The purpose of a local Special Touch Chapter is to reach out to those with disabilities as well as their friends, families, and caregivers. This specifically includes those not connected with a Disability-Friendly Church or those hurt by a local church. Special Touch Chapters are intended to be the liaisons between the disability community and the local church. Special Touch meets many needs of people impacted by disability and whenever possible promotes their involvement with a supportive Disability-Friendly Church family.
Special Touch Chapters are divisions of Special Touch Ministry, Inc. and as a federal 501c3 nonprofit organization are subject to certain legislative regulations. A local Special Touch Chapter begins and is directed locally by a core-group of 10 or more volunteers committed to developing the spiritual reach to people impacted by disability in their community. This core group is responsible for promoting, administrating, and fundraising as well as leading their monthly, community-based “friendship group” within the guidelines of Special Touch Ministry, Inc.
Special Touch Summer Get Away Program
A Summer Get Away is a five-day, in residence, camp-style retreat for children and adults with intellectual and/or physical disabilities (guests) to vacation and find fellowship with others in a Christian atmosphere. Families are welcome (family-discounts are available). Children under 10 years old must have parent or guardian with them to attend.
A Summer Get Away has functionally appropriate programming for people with physical or intellectual disabilities along separate tracks based on intellectual ability. Professional medical staff and compassionate caregivers are provided.
Each Summer Get away is run by a local Coordinator who is under the direction of Special Touch Ministry. Special Touch Summer Get Away staff are mainly volunteers committed to serving for the entire five days (four nights) of this retreat and approved through an annual application process which includes criminal background check and reference screening.
The guests’ tuition for each Summer Get Away vary and are based on a number of costs, including campground facility rental fees, insurance costs, as well as costs associated with complying to governmental regulatory requirements. Special Touch fees are lower than the national average for similar programs.
This mentor-ship program, for students age 14-17, is a part of the Special Touch Summer Get Away. The Caregiver In Training (CIT) program guides young people in evangelism and service to people with disabilities, providing the opportunity to explore God’s call on their life through rough hands-on experiences.
Special Touch Blind Services
In early 2019, when the Assemblies of God National Center for the Blind closed its offices in Springfield Missouri, Special Touch Ministry was asked to absorb programming serving people with blind and visual impairments. In the months to follow, an Administrator was hired and equipment and supplies were moved to Wisconsin. In order to continue serving the needs of people with blind and visual impairments during this transition period, we have compiled a directory of additional resources for audio and Braille Bibles, devotionals, sermons, Christian literature, and more. Special Touch Ministry is excited about developing an evangelistic focus in ministry to people who are blind or have visual impairments. Please see the Blind Services page for more information.
Special Touch Ministry Online Community
The STM Online Community is a safe place where individuals impacted by disability or sight loss can share their concerns, struggles, pain, and triumphs, and encourage each other, receive prayer and gain spiritual insights. Regular features of meetings are discussions on topics of interest to those who live with disability, Bible studies and prayer. The group is designed for those with physical disabilities but we welcome anyone who would like to be a part of these discussions. The community meets on the 3rd Saturday of each month at 12:00 PM CST. Access is available online through the Zoom Video Conferencing app as well as by phone. For more information on participating, join the STM Online Community Facebook group or email Lori.
Special Touch Missionary Associate Program (MA)
The MA program consists of individuals who volunteer their unique services and talents to Special Touch Ministry. MA’s can choose to develop into full-time career missionaries. Designed for people whose main desire is to help Special Touch Ministry serve people impacted by disability, a good work ethic, perseverance, dedication, and determination are required to reach a full-time career goal.