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Grandin, Zuckerberg, and Autism

A number of years ago, Wired Magazine published, “The Geek Syndrome,” an article about the high incidence of people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome who live in Silicon Valley, California. Since that time, the connection between technical innovation and autism has been repeated in articles and talks shows...

Disability Concerns
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Living Out Our Values

The National Association of Evangelicals produced a document in 2004 called “For the Health of the Nation.” It is not so much about health care reform as about the health of the United States as a nation. The scope of the document reaches far beyond the “traditional” evangelical issues of abortion and marriage. These are 

Disability Concerns
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The Elephant Man Brings Light and Darkness

Near the end of the play, just after being beaten and abandoned by his handlers, he calls after them in a husky voice, “I’m a man. I’m not an animal. I’m not an elephant. I’m a man.” The Elephant Man helps audiences reckon with the painful dehumanization that many people with disabilities experience: gawked at or ignored, left at the margins 

Disability Concerns
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Chelwood Church Gives and Receives Blessing

When I dream about the church as a welcoming community of God, I picture a church that fully engages people with disabilities in its life and ministry. Some churches have made this a reality, but most are still on the road. Chelwood Christian Reformed Church in Albuquerque has done exceptionally well at including people with intellectual disabilities, so well that this is a significant part of their outreach ministry.

Disability Concerns
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James Durbin Blazes a Trail on American Idol

James Durbin found fame on American Idol this season, though he was cut this past Wednesday. I rarely watch American Idol, and I know little about James Durbin or his music. Except this, Durbin lives with Asperger syndrome and with Tourette syndrome. I don’t want to set him up as “an inspiration,” which would do him a disservice, but I do want to set him and the staff of American Idol out as trailblazers.

Disability Concerns
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Rich's Ride

If you were to ask several people who live with disabilities, “What is the biggest challenge that you face?” They would not start by describing the challenges of day to day living, nor talk about the limitations on their activities. I would guess that most people with disabilities would tell you that the biggest challenge is . . .

Disability Concerns
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Reflections on the Death of Dr. Jack Kevorkian

Although arguments in favor of assisted suicide appeal to dignity and relief from suffering, they always miss the main point: the sanctity of human life. Whenever people are permitted to seek out the assistance of their doctors to take their own lives, society begins to put pressure on some individuals to bring about this final solution to the challenges they face.

Disability Concerns
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Poverty, Rights, and Disability

If we are serious about our mission as God's agents of renewal in society, our efforts at eliminating injustice, mitigating poverty, and helping people to become self-sustaining need to start with people with disabilities. If every anti-poverty effort, every development initiative, every benevolence committee in every CRC in North America began with the question, "How will this affect people with disabilities?" our work would be transformed dramatically for the better.

Disability Concerns
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Churches Positioned to Meet Two Critical Needs of People with Disabilities

People with disabilities face "Social deprivation" in a variety of ways due to architectural, communication, and attitudinal barriers in church and society. But as we reduce those barriers in the church, we begin to meet one of the greatest challenges that people with disabilities face. When the church does so, the church fulfills 

Disability Concerns
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Sadly, Here We Go Again

After a shooting rampage in Grand Rapids, Police Chief  Belk said he did not know Dantzler's mental-health diagnosis, but said he was "obviously a very troubled individual involved in some horrible activity." Why is Belk speculating about Dantzler's mental-health diagnosis? Whether or not Dantzler had a mental illness is no more relevant

Disability Concerns
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CRC Synod Affirms Age- and Ability-appropriate Faith

Exciting things can happen when a large group of people sit behind computers and listen to long speeches that are guided by somewhat arcane rules of order. That’s true every year at the annual meeting of the Christian Reformed Churches, which we call Synod. This year, to me, the most exciting decision came out of the Faith Formation Committee report.

Disability Concerns
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Thanks Jerry, Sort of

Over the years Jerry Lewis helped raise two and a half billion dollars for medical research for treatments and cures for the various forms of muscular dystrophy that affect about two percent of the population. That money has come at the expense of significant controversy.

Disability Concerns
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What Is a Worship Disruption?

Christianity Today reports, "In North Carolina, Elevation Church leaders removed a boy with cerebral palsy from church because he was disrupting the service. Then asks six prominent worship leaders to the question: “Should churches try to minimize disruptions in services?”

Disability Concerns
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Employment and Disability

James Soliday, a former employee of 7-Eleven who has 95 percent hearing loss, managed several stores effectively for many years, but was terminated, it seems, because a new supervisor was not willing to accommodate for his hearing loss as his supervisors had in the past.

Disability Concerns
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Celebrate Disability Week

Some people may wonder what it would mean to “celebrate” disability week, because they believe that disabilities are nothing to celebrate. However, we do have reason to celebrate the people in our congregations who live with disabilities.

Disability Concerns
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Seated at the Table by Grace Alone

I am the mother of a special needs child with a cognitive impairment. This presents various blessings and challenges for our family. One of the things that we have wrestled with for years, is whether or not our child would ever partake in communion.

Disability Concerns
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Not Just Surviving the Holidays

A simple, short guide won't make all the challenges go away, but it can help everyone enjoy the holidays a bit more. This guide, written by Barbara Newman, gives practical advice that can be of help to those who care about people who have a difficult time with all the changes that come with the holidays.

Disability Concerns
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Indispensable Parts

Though diversity brings richness to life, diversity should not be an end in itself. In fact, a very diverse groups can be unbearable. At their worst, diverse groups can break into factions that engage in gang warfare and “ethnic cleansing.” When churches consider creating diverse communities, they need to focus attention also on welcome, hospitality, and inclusion.

Disability Concerns

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