After finishing his Ph.D. cum laude, Herb Greenberg applied for 600 jobs, was offered 85 interviews, but when prospective employers found out he was blind, that number was reduced to three. He decided that the job interview process was broken, and he developed a tool to determine whether an employee could actually do the job they were applying for. After field testing the tool for and generating proven results, he began shopping for clients. Though he had a secure position teaching at Rutgers, in 1961 he left Rutgers to start his own company, Caliper. After many dry months, he finally landed a contract with Buick. Business grew well after that. This job applicant assessment service now has 250 employees in 13 offices worldwide. (Hear Greenberg tell his story on the Inc. magazine website.)
Greenberg’s story and success got me wondering about the church. Too often we talk about ministry to people with disabilities, as if they have everything to receive and nothing to give. Sometimes, we talk about ministry with people with disabilities, recognizing that together, disabled and non-disabled, can serve God well. But how many churches have ministries by people with disabilities, in the same way that Caliper was started and run by a man who is blind? How many councils have given encouragement to people who have disabilities to start and run with ministries in the congregation?
If your church has a ministry that was started by someone with a disability, please reply and tell us about it.