Disability Studies

This section is concerned with the general issues of people with disabilities. We have added this section for all committed to developing theoretical and practical knowledge about disability and promoting the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in society.

Disability Studies Quarterly

Disability Studies Quarterly (DSQ) is the journal of the Society for Disability Studies (SDS). It is a multidisciplinary and international journal of interest to social scientists, scholars in the humanities and arts, disability rights advocates, and others concerned with the issues of people with disabilities. It represents the full range of methods, epistemologies, perspectives, and content that the field of disability studies embraces. https://dsq-sds.org/index


During the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life is launching the #IamChurch campaign: 5 videos in which persons with disabilities, from different parts of the world, recount their experience of faith and affirm, “I am Church!”.

Each video aims to bring out the contribution that persons with disabilities offer to the ecclesial community on a daily basis. The work of evangelization carried out by some deaf young persons in Mexico, the monastery in France where some nuns with Down syndrome live out their vocation, the group of Italian youth with intellectual disabilities who participate in World Youth Days, are just a few examples of a broader reality that the campaign intends to start showing.

The videos are available on the following link and on the YouTube channels of Vatican News and the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. http://www.laityfamilylife.va/content/laityfamilylife/en/amoris-laetitia/iniziative-e-risorse/i-am-church.html

Pearls, Promises, and Potholes: A Traffic Report from the Intersections of Faith, Ministry, Theology, and Disability

A discussion with Bill Gaventa on new resources, promising practices, and problem areas in the rapidly growing movements and initiatives to include people with disabilities and their families in faith communities and in ministry and theological training. *From Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

From Barriers to Belonging: The Church and People with Disabilities

Led by Erik W. Carter, this session focuses on ten dimensions of belonging and their salience to the inclusion of people with intellectual disability, autism, and other developmental disabilities in the full life of the church. By: Erik W. Carter Tags: congregational care, disabilities, hospitality, inclusive worship, symposium 2018, youthAudio posted on May 10, 2018

What does it really mean for people with disabilities and their families (or anyone at all) to truly belong within their faith community? This session focuses on ten dimensions of belonging and their salience to the inclusion of people with intellectual disability, autism, and other developmental disabilities in the full life of the church. Led by Erik W. Carter, the presentation spurred deeper reflection about the ways in which churches might welcome and weave people with disabilities more fully into worship, learning, service, and relationships that lead to a life of flourishing. *From Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Download this multimedia file

Download the handout

Sermon Series and Study Guide on Belonging for All Abilities

*From Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Your church can use new resources, such as a sermon series and study guide, to help your congregation move from including people with disabilities to becoming a place of belonging for all abilities. Then you can pass on what you’ve learned to other congregations. By: Joan Huyser-Honig Tags: accessible worship, disabilities, inclusive worship, peer learning, preaching, sermonsArticle posted on June 21, 2021

After hearing Erik W. Carter talk about the ten dimensions of belonging, Karen Roberts thought about how many biblical passages support God’s desire to include people of all abilities in worship. Roberts is pastor of disability at First Presbyterian Church in Aurora (metro Chicago), Illinois. With peers in All Belong’s Circle of Congregations and the First Pres preaching staff, Roberts developed a seven-week sermon series on belonging. (All Belong is a nonprofit catalyzer for inclusive Christ-centered communities.)  

“The aspect of belonging is universal to the Christian experience, similar to the question of why God allows suffering. Sermons about belonging and suffering speak to families that live with disability—but everyone can relate. It’s an example of universal design learning,” Roberts says. She’s also writing a study guide to use with the sermon series.  

Explore the ten dimensions of belonging 

Roberts explains that she used to see disability ministry as outreach to individuals and families impacted by disability (inclusion). Now she believes the Holy Spirit is leading congregations and ministries to focus on ministry among and with people of varied abilities (belonging). That’s why she was so taken with an April 2020 Circle of Congregations online conversation with Erik W. Carter. He is a professor of special education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee; a member of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center; and an All Belong board member.  

Carter asked individuals and families impacted by disability to describe what belonging to a faith community would look like. This research revealed that people with disabilities and their families identified ten dimensions of belonging in community: being present, invited, welcomed, known, accepted, supported, cared for, befriended, needed, and loved.  

Use this sermon outline template to preach about belonging 

First Pres Aurora planned a seven-week sermon series called “The Family Table: The Place We all Belong.” The sermon series took place in winter 2021 and can be used or adapted elsewhere. “Our written sermons aren’t part of the posted resources because we believe pastors will want to do their own research on the suggested passages and preach from their context. We designed our series so that each sermon will be useful as a stand-alone option. For some churches, these ideas may be new,” Robert says. 

  • Visit the All Belong website to see the sermon series overview and find relevant books and disability ministry resources. The sermon series is available from First Presbyterian Church Aurora.
  • Each weekly page, such as week three, which deals with the belonging dimensions of being known and accepted, includes a sermon title, scripture focus, key idea, brief notes, and call to action.  
  • Watch all seven worship services in First Pres Aurora’s “The Family Table: The Place We All Belong.” 

Choose worship elements for your context 

Weekly pages suggest worship elements, such as songs, stories, participatory readings, creative prayer ideas, and examples of how First Pres Aurora explored the dimensions of belonging. Senior pastor Jeff Moore’s heirloom family dining room table stood on the church platform during the series. The first Sunday focused on the first dimension of belonging, being present. Near the end of the service, a family set the dining table with the Moore family’s dishware and table linens (1:01:39 in week one). Meanwhile, the congregation sang “There Is One Body” by Steve Williamson, cathedral dean of Church of the Resurrection in Aurora, Illinois.  

“On other Sundays, we learned as a congregation how to use American Sign Language to sign words of slow songs that are easy to learn, such as ‘Be Glorified‘ by Bob Kilpatrick,” Roberts says. 

Circle of Congregations peers suggested sharing stories of belonging through videos. First Pres compiled this video in which a Friendship Bible Club member describes friendship as “I have friends that are like my jelly to my peanut butter. We’ve been smooshed together like a sandwich.” The Family Table services also included stories from books and videos, such as this brief clip about a group home coming to church (stop at 0:50) and this Rain for Roots musical retelling of the Luke 14 wedding banquet parable

The sermon series works well for virtual and in-person worship 

“Our sermon series took place when we were meeting only online, so we know the series works in that format. Public health directives limited who could be on the platform when we live streamed worship. Only the preaching pastor and a small worship and tech team were present in the sanctuary. We created three videos so we could include people of varied abilities presenting scripture, such as Psalm 139, or reflecting on a dimension of belonging.  

“As churches return to in-person format, this series provides a wonderful opportunity for people of all abilities to lead worship together. It starts with really knowing the individual. Participation flows from each individual’s gifting, ability, and enjoyment. When we did our ‘All Belong worship’ service just before the pandemic lockdown, we included songs led by our regular choir combined with vocalists from Friendship Bible Club. We can ask people who love to read to read Scripture in worship. Those who play the autoharp for Friendship Bible Club can also do so in our Sunday services,” Roberts says.  

Use this study guide in other church settings 

Roberts is writing a study guide to correlate with the seven-week sermon series. The guide is designed for small groups of varied abilities and ages. Each lesson is interactive and includes multisensory ways for children, youth, adults, and intergenerational groups to engage and respond. Lessons include links to short videos along with options to use the guide without videos.  

Roberts says she’s grateful for the opportunity to learn from and pray with her Circle of Congregations peers in disability ministry. “These thought partners have given me study guide lesson ideas, such as ways for children to experience in small ways how to walk in the shoes of someone who lives with disability. They reminded me that responses that are less word-focused help more people participate. This might be giving a thumbs up or thumbs down, adding movement to worship songs about the discussion topics, or creating a poster together. During songs, people can wave praise streamers with colors representing Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (gold, red, and white). 

Small groups could use the guide to prepare for an upcoming sermon or as a follow-up to a sermon. Even in churches that don’t do the sermon series, small groups can use the study guide to explore the theme of belonging. Roberts expects that the study guide will be available in September 2021 at All Belong’s sermon series landing page

Share your experiences 

As of June 2021, The Family Table sermon series had only been preached at Roberts’ church. “My hope is that through this series other congregations will grow in their awareness and understanding of what it means for the Church to be the place we all belong. God created each person to be in relationship with him and then with one another. The desire for belonging is universal. Our welcome to others begins with God’s welcome to us. I hope that the sermon series may help break down barriers to belonging through the Word, through stories of belonging, and through worshipping as one body, made up of many parts, all gathered at The Family Table,” she says.  

Would you like to join pilot churches from Circle of Congregations in leading your congregation, youth group, small group, or study by using the sermon series outline or study guide? If so, then please contact All Belong. “We’d love to  hear how you uniquely adapted the series and how it impacted your community. Our prayer is that it is a resource that God will use to impact many congregations!” Roberts says. 


Divine Nobodies by Jim Palmer
Every day ordinary people, the very presence of Christ; The Mercy, and Grace of Christ blessing and caring for the people they encounter in their everyday lives, whatever their occupation..

Inclusion Handbook Editors: Mark Stephenson, Terry DeYoung, Keith Dow and Dan Vander Plaats
This easy-to-read book functions as a “go-to-guide” providing some basic step-by-step instructions for disability inclusion. It is very simple and practical in its approach and covers a variety of areas including ministry to people with physical impairments, developmental disabilities, aging stresses (for example Alzheimer’s and dementia) and mental illness. Definitely a great resource for both church and para-church organizations, for pastors, professors, and lay people. (Also available in Korean: 통합 안내서, 장애 옹호인들을 위한 자원

A Compassionate Journey by John Cook

A Compassionate Journey: Coming Alongside People with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses, by John G. Cook, guides readers in the practice of compassion and provides a helpful perspective on caring in the face of long-term need. That makes this book ideal for study by church councils, care teams, adult education groups, and individuals who want to learn how to show care to people with long-term needs. Available from Faith Alive Christian Resources

Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities by Barbara Newman
Special education teacher Barb Newman provides a much-needed how-to manual that equips teachers, church activity leaders, and kids with such gems as information for understanding children with special needs, guidelines for churches, and devotions for families. To access a free sample chapter, visit Helping Kids Include Kids….With Autism

Autism and the Church: Nurturing the Spiritual Growth of People with Autism Spectrum Disorder by Barbara Newman

This revised and updated edition of a trusted resource will help your church welcome people with autism into the full life of your congregation.

Changing Attitudes about Disability by Dan Vander Plaats
Vander Plaats discusses different attitudes we may have about disability and provides multiple resources on how to move along the pendulum from ignorance, to pity, to caring, to friendship, and ultimately, to co-labouring, where we find ourselves in rich reciprocal relationships with disabled people that enables both of us to fulfill our God-given callings.

Disability and Inclusive Communities by Kevin Timpe
Kevin, a professor of philosophy at Calvin University, presents the case for inclusion, aided by the voices of people with disabilities. “In just over an hour (which is all the time it took me read “Disability and Inclusive Communities”), author Kevin Timpe introduced me to brothers and sisters in Christ who have every reason to reject the church, yet have not. Instead, their rejection has often come from the church itself. This ought not be the case. This is a must-read for any Christian who believes the church has figured out inclusion and disability. It will make you mad, ashamed, repentant, and hopeful. Reading it prompted me toward, as Timpe suggests, “radical and deliberate reorientation of our communities.” I pray that God will use this lean but compelling manuscript to begin a redemptive reorientation of our churches and society.” – Dan Vander Plaats, Director of Advancement at Elim Christian Services 

Same Lake, Different Boat by Steph Hubach

When it comes to people with disability, however, we often act like we’re in different lakes. Disability can seem frightening, abnormal—or even irrelevant to those who do not experience it. But Stephanie Hubach argues that there is a better way to think of disability, a better way to understand the challenges facing those touched by disability, and a better way to understand the role of the church in the lives of people with differing abilities. She pinpoints what is true about disability, in contrast to common secular views, and what we need to rethink and relearn in order to support one another and make God’s kingdom truly accessible to all.

Disability and the Gospel by Michael Beates
A biblical, comprehensive yet condensed and very approachable, look at the theology of disability.

Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship by Barbara Newman
A fantastic, practical approach to making the 8 vertical habits of worship usable for individuals of all ages and abilities.

Special Needs Parenting: From Coping to Thriving by Lorna Bradley
A great small group study for those raising children with special needs of all ages. Great questions for discussion with a biblical perspective.

Building Community, Practical  Ways to Build Inclusive for People Who Are Vulnerable by Cara Milne www.mpoweredplanning.com
A great hands-on guide for anyone contemplating any kind of relationship with those who have disabilities. I love the flow of the chapters….from first conversation to lasting relationships!

Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families Editors: Robert H. Albers, William H. Meller, Steven D. Thurber
The language of creation replaces, and transcends, the language of loss, just as it does in life. The pastoral care-giver’s question is not, “What have you lost? But “What’s it like?” and “What’s happening?”

The Spiritual Art of Raising Children With Disabilities by Kathleen Deyer Bolduc 
Invites readers to join her on a spiritual journey that begins with the shattering pain of asking questions that cannot be answered and continue toward new creation and new community.

Mental Health: A Guide for Faith Leaders and its companion, Quick Reference on Mental Health for Faith LeadersThe Mental Health and Faith Community Partnership
This guide provides information to help faith leaders work with members of their congregations and their families who are facing mental health challenges.

A Day in the Life by Bev Roozeboom 
This book gives a glimpse into the chaos and hope of families with children living in the grip of chronic mental health disorders.

Turning Barriers into Bridges: The Inclusive Use of Information and Communication Technology for Churches in America, Britain, and Canada by Dr. John Jay Frank
Presents biblical, legal, and cultural reasons for making church communications accessible, and it provides specific guidelines to do so.

Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities by Erik W. Carter 
An excellent read based on solid research and practical application.

Autism and the God Connection: Redefining the Autistic Experience Through Extraordinary Accounts of Spiritual Giftedness by William Stillman
A parents’ view of Autism from a faith perspective. 

Too Wise to Be Mistaken, Too Good to be Unkind by Cathy Steere
Christian parents and their perspective on Autism. 

Feathers from Heaven by Denise Briley
A parent’s view of disability from a faith perspective. 

Dancing with Max:A Mother and Son Who Broke Free by Emily Colson
A mother’s perspective of the gifts and struggles of disability from a faith perspective. 

No Ordinary Boy by Jennifer Johannesen
The story of a Canadian family and their son Owen. 

Adam, God’s Beloved by Henri J. Nouwen
In his final book, Nouwen shares the spiritual lessons he learned from a young man with disabilities. 

Immeasurably More: More Hope, More Joy: Embracing Life with Down Syndrome by Linda Aalderink
A book about embracing life with Down syndrome. 

Disability and Spirituality: Recovering Wholeness by William C. Gaventh 
An overview of the historical and contemporary developments within the area of spirituality and disability. 

Caring and Covenant: Notes on a Sacramental Ecclesiology of Disability by Walker Michael

Christians with and without disabilities can most clearly care for each other in covenantal relationships, faithful and loving connections that help us grow. These compassionate encounters can empower us to become what one theologian calls “catholic personalities,” people open to authentically encountering all others. 

Spirit and the Politics of Disablement by Sharon V. Betcher

In this remarkable and incisive work, Sharon Betcher analyzes our world and God’s embodied presence in the light of her own disability and the insight it affords. She claims disablement as a site of powerful social and religious critique and reflection.

Copious Hosting: a Theology of Access for People with Disabilities by Jennie Weiss Block 

This book aims to do two things: to acquaint church and synagogue leaders with the history and philosophy of the disability movement and to provide resources from scripture and theology for thinking and preaching about disability in a new way.

My Body is Not a Prayer Request by Amy Kenny

Much of the church has forgotten that we worship a disabled God whose wounds survived resurrection, says Amy Kenny. It is time for the church to start treating disabled people as full members of the body of Christ who have much more to offer than a miraculous cure narrative and to learn from their embodied experiences. 

Reinders, Hans S. Receiving the Gift of Friendship: Profound Disability, Theological Anthropology, and Ethics. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.

Vulnerable Communion: a Theology of Disability and Hospitality by Thomas E. Reynolds

Reynolds argues that the Christian story is one of strength coming from weakness, of wholeness emerging from brokenness, and of power in vulnerability. He offers valuable biblical, theological, and pastoral tools to understand and welcome those with disabilities. Vulnerable Communion will be a useful resource for any student, theologian, church leader, or layperson seeking to discover the power of God revealed through weakness.
The Question of Access: Disability, Space, Meaning by Tanya Tichkosky

Through narratives of struggle and analyses of policy and everyday practices, Tanya Titchkosky shows how interpretations of access reproduce conceptions of who belongs, where and when. Titchkosky examines how the bureaucratization of access issues has affected our understanding of our lives together in social space. Representing ‘access’ as a beginning point for how disability can be rethought, rather than as a mere synonym for justice, The Question of Access allows readers to critically question their own implicit conceptions of disability, non-disability, and access.
Theology and Down Syndrome: Reimaging Disability in Late Modernity by Amos Yong

While the struggle for disability rights has transformed secular ethics and public policy, traditional Christian teaching has been slow to account for disability in its theological imagination. Amos Yong crafts both a theology of disability and a theology informed by disability. The result is a Christian theology that not only connects with our present social, medical, and scientific understanding of disability but also one that empowers a set of best practices appropriate to our late modern context.

Le Nostre Porte sono Aperte (Italian)

Il progetto Le nostre porte sono aperte è stato sviluppato per offrire idee semplici e creative per le comunità di diverse religioni per accogliere le persone con disabilità e invitarle a partecipare attivamente ai servizi religiosi, agli eventi e ad altre attività.

Nuove voci sfidano vecchi modi di vedere e comprendere la disabilità, l’accessibilità e l’inclusione. Il nostro team di esperti ha esperienza in materia di disabilità e ci ha aiutato a prestare particolare attenzione alle questioni di inclusione che le associazioni di persone con disabilità stanno attualmente discutendo.

La nostra visione

La nostra visione è che le persone con disabilità possano godere spiritualmente e praticare il loro credo partecipando attivamente insieme agli altri membri delle loro comunità.

Che cosa facciamo

Per dare veramente la possibilità alle persone con disabilità nelle nostre comunità di essere essi stessi agenti di cambiamento positivo, riconosciamo che ogni persona ha un ruolo nella nostra società. Le nostre porte sono aperte per aiutare tutte le comunità di fede a capire come aprire le loro menti, i loro cuori e le loro porte alle persone con tutte le abilità.

Seminario Le nostre porte sono aperte

Abbiamo realizzato questa presentazione Power Point che può essere usata come punto di partenza per qualsiasi comunità che voglia migliorare l’accessibilità e l’inclusione delle persone con disabilità. Puoi vedere le note su come gestire il seminario. Durante il seminario avrete bisogno della lista di controllo dell’accessibilità che è disponibile per il download qui sotto. Se avete domande, contattateci all’indirizzo email: info @ turci.biz

Guida per una comunità accessibile

La guida “Le nostre porte sono aperte” è stata sviluppata dall’Inclusive Design Research Centre della OCAD University per offrire alle diverse comunità religiose idee semplici e creative, per aiutare ad aumentare l’inclusione e l’accessibilità delle persone con disabilità durante le funzioni religiose, gli eventi e tutte le attività comunitarie. Sempre più spesso, nuove voci sfidano i vecchi approcci per comprendere e spiegare l’accessibilità e l’inclusione. All’interno di questa guida, abbiamo dato particolare attenzione alle questioni di inclusione sollevate dalle organizzazioni e dalle voci delle comunità di persone con disabilità.

Our Doors Are Open Course in OER COMMONS


Open Educational Resources (OERs) are research, teaching and learning materials that are free to use because they are in the public domain or have an open license. OERs are part of a movement to support equal access to education and lifelong learning for everyone. Many people, including educators, learners, and publishers are developing, adapting, remixing and sharing OERs. An OER is like a growing plant; each shared adaptation and remix is a new unfurling leaf making the OER plant more robust. Each new openly-licensed resource is like a new plant. The more robust and varied the OERs, the more sustainable the OER ecosystem. Learners can thrive in an OER ecosystem when we design OERs inclusively to benefit all learners.

OER How-to-Our Doors Course:

For community members and learners:

  1. Find Our Doors Are Open Course 
  2. You can share it in your community.
  3. Use or adapt Our Doors for your community
  4. Share back your resources with the learning community using appropriate open licensing

For educational resource authors, developers, and designers:

  1. Create resources so copies can be easily made, parts can be reused, and content can be edited
  2. Design using inclusive practices and consider the accessibility of each content type. The idea is to provide different ways for content to work better in more situations. 
  3. Use open software and platforms available to learning and education communities
  4. Apply open licensing such as Creative Commons

Guide for Accessible Congregations

The Guide has a lot of ideas and steps to help your community understand new ways to be accessible and inclusive. For a PDF version, click below:

English PDF: Download the Guide for Accessible Congregations as an Accessible PDF

You may also want to watch our 10 minute training video introduction to the guide.


Getting Started

  • Who are People with Disabilities?
  • What are Barriers?
  • Building Relationships with People with Disabilities

Getting Organized 

  • Step 1: Form an Inclusion Committee
  • Step 2: Identify Barriers
  • Step 3: Make a Plan

Getting Down to Work

  • 1- Strategies for Shifting Attitudes & Promoting 18 Active Participation
  • 2- Strategies for Improving Communications
  • 3-Strategies for Making Buildings and Facilities Accessible

Welcoming New People into Your Community 

  • Step 1: Have a Plan for Welcoming New Community Members
  • Step 2: Reach Out to People Who Are Not Currently Included in Your Community
  • Step 3: Build Relationships with People with Disabilities

Video Training for Accessible Congregations

This is a training video that acts as a starting point for faith communities that want to improve accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities. Communities are encouraged to follow along and use the free Our Doors Are Open Guide for Accessible Congregations in the resources sections.

How to Become a Welcome Community

Welcoming means accepting people as they are, and inviting them to participate in activities in ways that help them to live fully. The resources that follow are examples of welcome in different faith traditions.

Baha’i Resources:

https://www.ca.bahai.org/resources, a website by the Baha’i Community of Canada. This brief website lists other websites relevant to the community-focused, academic, and devotional activities of Baha’i worshippers, both in Canada and internationally.

https://www.building-community.ca/, a website by the Baha’i Community of Canada. This fascinating website contains links to videos about members of Baha’i communities in Ontario and Quebec, especially those who were part of an international Baha’i youth conference in 2013.

Buddhist Resources:

http://www.buddhisma2z.com/index.htm, a website furnished by the Bhante Dhammika, an Australian teacher of Nilambe meditation. The website is divided alphabetically, and further distinguished by subject-headings; the article on “Hospitality” offers specific scriptural references from the Tipitaka, one of the chronicles of the Buddha’s life, concerning ways to welcome others with food ad lodging.

Andy Rotman, “Buddhism and Hospitality: Expecting the Unexpected ad Acting Virtuously,”  a resource provided by Smith College. Rotman examines the meaning of the word translated from Sanskrit as “hospitality” both theologically and in terms of Buddhist scriptural narratives about entertaining guests.

Christian Resources:

That All May Worship: an Interfaith Welcome to People with Disabilities,  a resource by the American Association of People with Disabilities. This PDF outlines attitudes towards disability in American faith-based contexts (primarily Christian churches), explores ways that congregations can be hospitable towards and welcome people with disabilities, and examines the necessity of caring for the caregivers of people with disabilities.

Guiding Principles & Strategies for Inclusion in the Liturgy of Catholics with Disabilities,” these guiding principles are provided for Pastors, Liturgists, Parish Advocates, Liturgy Planners, Designers, Architects, and all those who have a concern for the design of the worship space and the planning of liturgical celebrations. They are provided for the purpose of assuring that all members of the worshiping community are able to participate fully in the worship life of their parishes and also to insure that all who are appropriately qualified can fully participate in the various liturgical ministries.

Everybody Belongs, Serving Together. A resource by the Christian Reformed Church in North America. This resource looks carefully at physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities, and describes the central place of relationship in caring for people with disabilities. It outlines some disability etiquette, offers strategies to befriend and welcome people with various disabilities, emphasizes caring for caregivers, and illustrates the significance of calling disability advocates in the church context. It also includes an accessibility audit.”

Hindu Resources:

The Art of Hospitality in Hindu Life, a resource by Vishnu Mandir, a Hindu temple in Richmond Hill. This short pamphlet narrates specific stories of hospitality in Hindu contexts, describes how to be both a good guest and a good host, and compares and contrasts Hindu hospitality to Western notions of hospitality.

Heart of Hinduism: Hospitality.” A resource prepared by the International Society of Krishna Consciousness. This webpage, part of a larger site full of resources on Hinduism, offers a concise definition of hospitality, as well as links to stories related to guests and hosts, scriptural passages, and questions for personal reflection.

Islamic Resources:

What are the examples of Muslim hospitality?” A resource created by Quora. On this brief but helpful webpage, the author lays out some of the essential parts of a theology of hospitality for Muslims.

Aisha Stacey, “Treating Guests the Islamic Way,” a resource provided by islamreligion.com. In this short blog-post, Stacey notes the “triangular” relationship of hospitality among God, the guest, and the host, and finds scriptural evidence for that relationship in the Qur’an and hadith about welcome.

Jewish Resources:

The Centrality of Hospitality to Judaism,” a resource created by the Morasha Syllabus, an introductory course to Judaism. This dense text with facing-page English and Hebrew translations examines the Jewish Law to demonstrate the value of hospitality in Jewish life; the unique blessing of hospitality to guests; the components of hosting; educating children in hosting; and the extraordinary blessing one offers by escorting guests out of the house.

Mark Greenspan, “The Impact of Kindness,” a resource-sheet by the Rabbinical Community, offers rabbinic commentary on Genesis 18 (Abraham’s visit by the three angels at Mamre), and examines how Abraham’s character issues in his actions.

Sikh Resources:

https://www.sikhcoalition.org/, a website by the Sikh Coalition. This useful website describes the cultural and religious aspects of Sikhism, explores the Sikh commitment to justice for all people, and offers people in distress legal recourse.

Punjab Culture: Hospitality,” in this short article, provided by allaboutsikhs.com, the author defines hospitality as a central characteristic of Sikhs generally, and of Punjabi peoples in particular.  

Poster for Gurdwaras. “Becoming a Welcoming Community Values of the Sikh Community.” Created by Guneet Daid. Becoming a Welcoming Community

This poster was designed to present important values of the Sikh religion that inspire the Sikh community to commit to the inclusion of people with disabilities within the community. Three Sikh values are discussed in this poster that encourages the community to improving accessibility and engagement in meaningful religious activities. This poster can be printed and put up in the community to signify that the community considers the inclusion of people with disabilities as important or it can be uploaded to the faith community website if one exists. Becoming a Welcoming Community

Other Resources:

Why Focus on Welcoming? a resource by Community Activators

Choosing a Welcoming Orientation, a resource by Community Activators

Principles for Creating Hospitality in Communities, a resource by Community Activators

DeYoung, Terry A. and Mark Stephenson. Inclusion Handbook: Everybody Belongs, Everybody Serves. New York: Christian Reformed Press, 2013, a resource by the Christian Reformed Church.

Gift-Based Ways to Help Others, a resource by Community Activators.

The Art of Listening, a resource by Community Activators.

The Significance of Storytelling, a resource by Community Activators.

Gift-Based Ways to Help Others, a resource by Community Activators.

The Art of Listening, a resource by Community Activators.

The Significance of Storytelling, a resource by Community Activators.

Nuestras Puertas están abiertas (Spanish)

El projecto “Nuestras puertas están abiertas” fué desarrollado para ofrecer simples y creativas ideas para que comunidades de diferentes religiones puedan recibir a personas con discapacidades, e invitarlas a que participen activamente en los servicios religioses, eventos y demas actividades.

Nuevas voces desafian antiguas formas de ver y entender la discapacidad, la accessibilidad y la inclusíon. Nuestro equipos de expertos tienen experiencia propia con respecto al tema de discapacidad, y nos han ayudado a prestar especial atención a los temas de inclusión que las asociaciones de personas con discapacidades discuten actualmente.

Nuestra visión

Nuestra visión es que las personas con discapacidades puedan disfrutar espiritualmente y practicar sus creencias participando activamente junto con otros miembros de sus comunidades.

Que hacemos

Para realmente darle espacio a las personas con discapacidades en nuestras comunidades para que pueden ser ellos mismos agentes de cambios positivos, nosotros reconocemos que cada persona tiene un rol en nuestra sociedad. Nuestras puertas están abiertas ayuda a toda comunidad creyente a entender como abrir sus mentes, sus corazones y sus puertas a personas con todo tipo de habilidades.

Taller Nuestras puertas están abiertas

Hemos realizado esta presentation “Power Point” que puede ser utilizada como punto de partida para cualquier comunidad que quiera mejorar la accesibilidad y la inclusión para personas con discapacidades. Usted puede ver notas de como llevar adelante el taller.

Durante el taller necesitará el listado de accesibilidad que se encuentra disponible para descargar mas abajo. Si tiene alguna consulta contactenos a dpereyra@ocadu.ca.

Luego de haber realizado el taller, los invitamos a agregar su comunidad en la sección de comunidades que participan en Nuestras Puertas están abiertas >>> COMUNIDADES PARTICIPANTES.

Guía para comunidades accesibles

La guía “Nuestras puertas están abiertas” ha sido elaborada por el Centro de Investigación de Diseño Inclusivo del Ontario College of Art & Design University para ofrecer a las diversas comunidades religiosas de Ontario ideas sencillas y creativas que ayuden a aumentar la inclusión y la accesibilidad de las personas con discapacidad durante los servicios religiosos, los eventos y todas las actividades comunitarias. Cada vez más, nuevas voces desafían los viejos enfoques para entender y explicar la accesibilidad y la inclusión. En esta guía, hemos prestado especial atención a las cuestiones de inclusión planteadas por las organizaciones y las voces de las comunidades de personas con discapacidad.

ਆਪਣੇ ਭਾਈਚਾਰੇ ਨੂੰ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਹੋਰ ਪਹੁੰਚਯੋਗ ਬਣਾਇਆ ਜਾ ਸਕਦਾ ਹੈ। (Punjabi)

1)   ਕਮੇਟੀ ਬਣਾਓ

ਇੱਕ ਕਮੇਟੀ ਬਣਾਉਂਣੀ ਚਾਹੀਦੀ ਹੈ ਜਿਹੜੀ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਜ਼ਰੂਰਤਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝਦੀ ਹੈ। ਇਹ ਕਮੇਟੀ ਅਪਾਜ ਅਤੇ ਬਜੁਰਗਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਸਮੱਸਿਆਵਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝਦੀ ਹੈ।

ਕਮੇਟੀ ਮੀਟਿੰਗ ਦੀਆਂ ਕੁਝ ਸੁਜਾਵਾਂ

  • ਘੱਟੋ ਘਟ ਸਾਲ ਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਤਿੰਨ ਵਾਰੀ ਮਿਲੋ।
  • ਜਿਹੜੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਕੋਲ ਡਿਸੇਬਿਲਟੀ ਹੈ, ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਜਰੂਰਤਾਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਗੱਲਬਾਤ ਕਰੋ।
  • ਜਿਹੜੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਕੋਲ ਡਿਸੇਬਿਲਟੀ ਹੈ, ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਮੁਸ਼ਕਲਾਂ ਦਾ ਹੱਲ ਲੱਭੋ।
  • ਯੋਜਨਾਵਾਂ ਬਣਾਓ ਤਾਂ ਜੋ ਸਾਡਾ ਭਾਈਚਾਰਾ ਡਿਸੇਬਿਲਟੀ ਵਾਲੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਅਪਨਾ ਸਕੇ।

2)   ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਦੀ ਪਹਿਚਾਣ ਕਰੋ

ਜਦੋਂ ਧਾਰਮਿਕ ਭਾਈਚਾਰੇ ਦੀਆਂ ਸਹੂਲਤਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਰੀਤਾਂ ਵਿਚ ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਆਉਂਦੀਆਂ ਹਨ, ਉਹ ਭਾਈਚਾਰਾ ਆਪਣੇ ਵਿਚਾਰਾਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਦੱਸ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੁੰਦਾ ਹੈ।  ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਭਾਈਚਾਰੇ ਵਿਚ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਪਛਾਣਨ ਅਤੇ ਹਟਾਉਂਣ ਦੀ ਲੋੜ ਹੈ।

ਇਹ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਰਕੇ “Accessiblity Checklist” ਨੂੰ ਪੜ੍ਹੋ। ਇਹ ਦਸਤਾਵੇਜ਼ ਤਿੰਨ ਕਿਸਮਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਦੱਸਦਾ ਹੈ: ਸੋਚ, ਸੰਚਾਰ, ਅਤੇ ਇਮਾਰਤ ਕਿਵੇਂ ਬਣੀ ਹੈ।

3)   ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਸੁਲਝਾਉਂਣ ਲਈ ਯੋਜਨਾ ਬਣਾਓ

ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਦੀ ਪਛਾਣ ਕਰਨ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ, ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦਾ ਹੱਲ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਯੋਜਨਾ ਬਣਾਓ। ਕੁਝ ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਦਾ ਹੱਲ ਕਰਨਾ ਸੌਖਾ ਹੋਵੇਗਾ ਅਤੇ ਦੂਸਰੀਆਂ ਰੁਕਾਵਟਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਵਧੇਰੇ ਸਮਾਂ ਲੱਗੇਗਾ।

ਹੋਰ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ ਲਈ “Our Doors are Open: Guide for Accessible Congregations” ਨੂੰ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਕਰਕੇ ਪੜ੍ਹੋ।

ਯੋਜਨਾ ਬਣਾਉਣ ਲਈ ਕੁਝ ਸੁਜਾਵਾਂ

  1. ਜਿਹੜੇ ਆਈਟਮਾਂ ਨੂੰ “Not Yet” “Accessiblity Checklist” ਵਿਚ ਟਿਕ ਮਾਰਕ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ, ਉਹਨਾਂ ਸਵਾਲਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਧਿਆਨ ਨਾਲ ਦੇਖੋ।
    ਆਪਣੀ ਕਮੇਟੀ ਨਾਲ ਗੱਲ ਬਾਤ ਕਰਕੇ ਆਈਟਮਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਬਦਲਣ ਦਾ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਕਰੋ। ਜਿਹੜੇ
  2. ਆਈਟਮਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਤਰਤੀਬ ਵਿਚ ਚੁਣੋ। ਤੁਸੀਂ ਸੌਖੇ ਆਈਟਮਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਚੁਣ ਸਕਦੇ ਹੋ।
  3. ਹਰੇਕ ਆਈਟਮ ਵਾਸਤੇ ਤੁਸੀਂ ਪਤਾ ਕਰੋ ਕਿ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਕਿਹੜੀਆਂ ਚੀਜਾਂ ਦੀ ਲੋੜ ਹੈ।
  4. ਇਕ ਯੋਜਨਾ ਬਣਾਉ।
  5. ਭਾਈਚਾਰੇ ਦੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਗੱਲਬਾਤ ਕਰੋ। ਹੋਰ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ ਲਈ ਸਾਡੀ ਵੈਬਸਾਈਟ, opendoors.idrc.ocadu.ca/ ਨੂੰ ਪੜੋ।

Becoming a Welcoming Community

This sections contains a summarized translation into Punjabi of the three ways to start making your faith community accessible, 1) create an inclusion or disability awareness committee, 2) identify barriers and 3) make a plan. Also included in this document is a summarized English version of the translation. This document was designed to be a quick summary of pages 12-17 of the Our Doors are Open Guide for Accessible Congregations that can be accessed at /guide-for-accessible-congregation/

Participation of People with Disabilities

Once people with disabilities have experienced welcome, they want to participate—to share in the community, and to give back authentically. Participation can look like reading, praying, singing, cooking or serving food, or many other activities. The resources below concern participation through the lens of different faiths.

Christian Resources:

Including Adults with Disabilities in Religious Life and Education,” a resource created by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. This in-depth guidebook for religious leaders and “faith partners” (faithful allies of people with various disabilities) outlines the creation of an “inclusion plan” for people with disabilities, and some barriers to education that worshippers with disabilities face.

Disabilities and Faith,” this resource, created by the Center for Persons with Disabilities in Utah, states the problem of inaccessible churches, and describes in simple terms both how to encourage participation of people with disabilities in Christian faith communities, and how to get in touch with other organizations who perform disability education and advocacy.

Guiding Principles & Strategies for Inclusion in the Liturgy of Catholics with Disabilities,” these guiding principles are provided for Pastors, Liturgists, Parish Advocates, Liturgy Planners, Designers, Architects, and all those who have a concern for the design of the worship space and the planning of liturgical celebrations. They are provided for the purpose of assuring that all members of the worshiping community are able to participate fully in the worship life of their parishes and also to insure that all who are appropriately qualified can fully participate in the various liturgical ministries.

My Body is Not a Prayer Request,” by Amy Kenny. Much of the church has forgotten that we worship a disabled God whose wounds survived resurrection, says Amy Kenny. It is time for the church to start treating disabled people as full members of the body of Christ who have much more to offer than a miraculous cure narrative and to learn from their embodied experiences. Written by a disabled Christian, this book shows that the church is missing out on the prophetic witness and blessing of disability. Kenny reflects on her experiences inside the church to expose unintentional ableism and cast a new vision for Christian communities to engage disability justice. She shows that until we cultivate church spaces where people with disabilities can fully belong, flourish, and lead, we are not valuing the diverse members of the body of Christ. Offering a unique blend of personal storytelling, fresh and compelling writing, biblical exegesis, and practical application, this book invites readers to participate in disability justice and create a more inclusive community in church and parachurch spaces. Engaging content such as reflection questions and top-ten lists are included.

Islamic Resources:

Najah Zaaeed, “Accessibility, Acceptance, Islamic Education,” a resource created by Muslim Matters. This article discusses many of the challenges faced by Muslims with disabilities in terms of participating in their mosques, especially women; that said, it also points out some simple technological solutions to some problems of access, and points out the significance of physical access.

The Fatal Feminist, “The Mosque and (In)Accessibility,” a resource by the Fatal Feminist. This short blog-post reveals some of the frustrations of Muslim American woman who asks significant questions about justice and access for Muslim women and Muslims with disabilities.

Jewish Resources:

Jane E. Herman, “10 Vital Jewish Resources on Disability Awareness and Inclusion,” a resource created by the Union for Reform Judaism. This short blog-post is a collection of resources that concern the inclusion of people with disabilities in both Jewish and secular contexts.

Yachad / National Jewish Council for People with Disabilities, Disability Inclusion Resource Guide for Rabbis, is a resource created by Yachad/National Jewish Council for Disabilities, “an agency of the Orthodox Union, is a 6,500-member global organization dedicated to the Inclusion of all Jews with disabilities in every aspect of Jewish life.” This short booklet claims that “inclusion begins with the rabbi,” discusses the creation of synagogue inclusion-committees, describes the North American Inclusion Month, provides support for inclusion from the Torah and various rabbinic sources, and offers activities for adults, adolescents, and children.

Other Resources:

Helen Sanderson, “Person Centred Planning: Key Features and Approaches.”  This resource outlines the important features of Person-Centred Planning, a tool in the helping professions that can enable people with disabilities to set and achieve their own goals, and to flourish in a personal sense.

Inclusive Religious Practices

A significant part of both genuine welcome and sustained participation is practices, embodied habits that worshippers can perform over and over again within the community. The resources below outline numerous practices that include people with disabilities in diverse faith-traditions.

Buddhist Resources:

“Creating Inclusive Classrooms in Thailand,” a resource created by the International Council for the Day of Vedak. This insightful PDF examines the struggles of seven school principals in Thailand who chose to invest in educational tools centred on the inclusion of people with disabilities, such as Down Syndrome.

Diversity in Shambhala,” a resource created by Shambhala International. This webpage summarizes the paradigm of Shambhala, a not-for-profit organization based on Buddhist teachings with an interfaith component, in terms of diversity. We heartily recommend the whole website for your perusal.

Christian Resources:

David W. Anderson, “The Task of Christian Education in Creating an Inclusive Worldview,” a resource provided by the Christian Educators’ Journal. This fascinating article defines inclusion as “a state of being that gives rise to a sense of belonging and acceptance,” describes disability as a “human problem,” and offers various traits of an “interdependent classroom.”

Religion and Spirituality Resources,” a resource created by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Centre, is a list of links to various online resources (primarily guides and tip-sheets) connecting disability, (Christian) spirituality, and religious education.  

Guiding Principles & Strategies for Inclusion in the Liturgy of Catholics with Disabilities,” these guiding principles are provided for Pastors, Liturgists, Parish Advocates, Liturgy Planners, Designers, Architects, and all those who have a concern for the design of the worship space and the planning of liturgical celebrations. They are provided for the purpose of assuring that all members of the worshiping community are able to participate fully in the worship life of their parishes and also to ensure that all who are appropriately qualified can fully participate in the various liturgical ministries.

Islamic Resources:

Rabia S. Khedr, “Creating an Inclusive Ummah,” a resource provided by the Canadian Association of Muslims with Disabilities. This report describes the physical and social barriers that Muslims with disabilities face in attending mosques in Toronto, and generally participating in their communities’ social and spiritual life.

Hurisa Guvercin, “People with Disabilities from an Islamic Perspective,” a resource provided by the Fountain Magazine. This article discusses special education and inclusion from an Islamic perspective, offers some scriptural and historical evidence of inclusion in Islamic cultures, and joins Islamic teachings on inclusive education to federal American legislation on disability.

Jewish Resources:

Penina Goldstein & Melinda Jones Ault, “Including Individuals with Disabilities in a Faith Community: A Framework and Example,” in Journal of Disability and Religion 19.1 (2015): 1-14. This resource is a study of the needs and gifts of a young Jewish man on the autism spectrum; it chronicles the way that his family, his school, and his faith-community have learned to include him.

Hineinu: Jewish Guide for Creating Inclusive Communities.” Like the PDF by Yachad above, this resource, created by Hineinu (Hebrew for “here we are”), a Jewish non-profit dedicated to inclusion, offers tips on accessibility and inclusion for rabbis and educators, discusses Jewish scriptural references to inclusion, defines the Jewish Disability Awareness Month, and provides other resources.  

Other Resources:

Helen Sanderson, “Person Centred Planning: Key Features and Approaches,” this resource outlines the important features of Person-Centred Planning, a tool in the helping professions that can enable people with disabilities to set and achieve their own goals, and to flourish in a personal sense.

Mary Earl, “Re-Framing Education about Beliefs and Practices in Schools” (Cambridge: Cambridge, 2015), a resource created by Cambridge University’s Faculty of Education and the Woolf Institute, a non=profit that studies the relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. This informative book discusses the cultural transmission of beliefs and practices in religious faith, the concept of identity formation, and the ways that these concepts intertwine in the university classroom.

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promote discussion and education about dis- and differing abilities.