There are two Arc events on faith commuities and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities you should know about. The first is The Third Annual Summer Institute on Theology and Disability. We are a co-sponsor of this event which will be held in Chicago this year on July 16 – 20, 2o12. John Gaventa is finalizing the program for this institute. The other is The Arc Webinar below. Please share this information with other advocates.
Special Webinar Offer: The Power of Inclusive Spiritual Supports for People with I/DD
Join The Arc on March 29 to explore the dimensions of a powerful but too frequently untapped source of community inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For some, faith communities are not only a “natural support” organization, but also a pathway to more inclusive and productive lives in the wider community in which their gifts are recognized and contributions utilized. “From Rights to Relationships: The Power of Inclusive Spiritual Supports”will summarize the growing research in the area of spiritual supports and share best practices and strategies for assisting the faith community and services providers in providing for the spiritual needs and choices of people with I/DD.
If one asks individuals with disabilities and their families to share their “church” or “faith” stories, the answer is rarely lukewarm. You might hear about the number of ways that their congregation has been a key source of support in their lives through any number of typical and sometimes untypical parts of the life of a faith community. On the other hand, you will hear stories of apathy, exclusion, or attitudinal and architectural barriers that essentially closed off that avenue to spiritual and community supports.
For adults with disabilities, a third world enters this picture when they are supported by a provider agency, many of whom state that religious freedom and community participation are both part of their organizational mission and the rights of the people they support, but then do not know how to follow through on helping that choice and dream become a real option and opportunity.
This webinar will feature Bill Gaventa and Erik Carter, two experts in the field who will explore three dimensions of spiritual supports:
What the research shows – Erik will summarize the growing research in the area of spiritual supports, and highlight arenas in which more research is needed.
Working with congregations of all major traditions on inclusive spiritual supports – Bill and Erik will share best practices, from their experience, in supporting clergy and congregations as they begin and move towards inclusive faith supports.
Learning to live our values – Bill Gaventa will outline ways for providers and advocates to honor and address spirituality and spiritual support through strategies and resources to assist service providers in supporting the needs and choices of the people they support.