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Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities -- A Guide for Service Providers, Families, and Congregations -- By Erik W. Carter, Ph.D.

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Price: $27.95
"A foundational resource . . . will help faith communities broaden their mission to include people with disabilities, and will provide answers that state agency workers have been seeking" —Jeff McNair, Ph.D., Professor of Special Education, California Baptist University

"Eloquent and wise . . . will be a treasured resource for members of faith communities who care about welcoming and using the gifts of all people." —Thomas B. Hoeksema, Ph.D., Professor of Education, Calvin College

A congregational community is an ideal place to share and strengthen faith, form lasting relationships, and develop special gifts and talents. Too often, though, people with developmental and other disabilities lack the opportunities and supports to fully participate in the life of their faith community. That’s why families and service providers need to read this groundbreaking guidebook—and share a copy with congregations that want to become places of welcome and belonging for people with disabilities.

Bringing his practical ideas to life with anecdotes, quotes, and examples of successful strategies, Erik Carter helps readers

  • reflect on how welcoming their congregation is—and could be—for people with disabilities and their families
  • articulate and pursue a bold vision of inclusion throughout their congregation, community, city, or state
  • take steps to break down attitudinal, architectural, programmatic, and other barriers to inclusion
  • design appropriate, inclusive religious education programs for children, youth, and adults
  • learn how service providers can actively support the spiritual preferences, strengths, and needs of people with disabilities

To make inclusion work in any faith community, this how-to book gives readers workable strategies and photocopiable forms for identifying “indicators of welcome,” encouraging community outreach, and gathering important information about the support needs of people with disabilities and their families.

Table of Contents

About the Author

Signs and Invitations
Bill Gaventa

Belonging, Believing, and Becoming
Rud and Ann Turnbull


Chapter 1. Lives of Faith: Moving Toward Full Participation

Chapter 2. A Welcoming Congregation: Signs of Hospitality

Chapter 3. Welcoming, Including, and Connecting: Becoming a Responsive Congregation

Chapter 4. Designing Inclusive Religious Education Programs

Chapter 5. Supporting Individuals with Developmental Disabilities and Their Families: The Other Six Days

Chapter 6. The Contributions of Service Providers: Supporting Spiritual Expression

Chapter 7. Launching Communitywide Efforts: Partnering Together for Inclusion


Appendix A: Examples of Faith Group Statements Addressing Disability and Congregational Inclusion

Appendix B: Resources for Service Providers, Families, and Congregations


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