Supporting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in faith communities starts with an awareness of the issues. This page is devoted to resources which help build awareness among people of faith about the gifts and the challenges of persons with disabilities and their families. Your additional ideas and suggestions are welcomed.
A special day, week, or month may help to build awareness of disabilities in your local faith community. Sometimes days like a “Disabilities Sabbath” or “Mental Health Sunday” are sponsored by a regional or national body for a faith group. Check with your conference, denominational, or association office or the disabilities advocacy ministry for your faith group. See our Faith-based Advocacy page to find the office or ministry for your faith group.
Sometimes faith groups can create their own events built upon a week or month sponsored by a larger secular agency. Below are some examples. Use a search engine to find the latest information on these events. In the U.S., the National Health Information center lists all such events and their sponsoring groups on their National Health Observances page.
There are many resources on disabilities that can be placed in the library of your congregation or faith community. In addition to the suggestions noted here, see the Comprehensive Bibliography noted below.
- The CAN Media Store carries the latest and best titles and allows you to order them directly from the site.
- Google Books allows you to preview or read for free a vast number of books. This can be an excellent way to determine if you want to purchase a copy for your library.
- Check the CAN Media Store for videos that you can order directly. (Coming soon!)
- Sometimes videos or previews of videos are available online. Use a search engine to find these. If you use a video directly from the Internet in a public setting, please check for any copyright or performance restrictions.
Dimensions of Faith and Congregational Ministries with Persons with Developmental Disabilities and Their Families. Ed. William C. Gaventa. New Brunswick, N.J.: Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities. Order or download from the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center. A comprehensive bibliography and address listing of resources for clergy, laypersons, families, and service providers. Resources are organized by category, including worship and sacraments, the arts, architectural and attitudinal accessibility, mission, theology, pastoral care and counseling, religious education, resources for families, Jewish resources, etc.