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Beware of First Impressions

"People shouldn't dismiss people like me just because I sound different. In that sense, I'd like them to think of it as little more than an accent. However, I also can't get away from the reality that it is a disability, it has caused me to struggle throughout my life, just to communicate."

Disability Concerns
Blog
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I Have a Dream Too

I have a dream that the body of Christ will show society how welcome and hospitality are done right. I have a dream that the body of Christ will be the first place people living with disabilities will go to find acceptance, warmth, and opportunities to use their gifts in meaningful ways. 

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Hans Küng Prefers Death to Disability

It must be terribly frightening to see one’s abilities slowly fade. I do not yet live with losses like this, so I do not want to speak lightly of them. But many, many other people do live joyfully with disabilities of various kinds, including loss of eyesight and Parkinson’s.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Help Me with this Disability Stereotype

I celebrate the accomplishments of Derrick Coleman and Nick Vujicic and the others, but I want to get to know people on their own terms. I don’t want to paint anyone with stereotypes that have been formed in my mind by media. But how do I do that?

Disability Concerns
Blog
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It's What's There

Take a minute to watch this ad from the Canadian Paralympic Committee. The words at the end could apply as much to involvement in church as to involvement in athletic events. 

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Violent Crime, Abuse, and Disability

The means by which violence is perpetrated against people with disabilities varies widely, but the statistics clearly indicate that people with disabilities are much more likely to have emotional and physical violence perpetrated against them than the general population. 

Disability Concerns
Discussion Topic
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All Inclusion Is Local

If you live with a disability, what has your church done so that you know you a part of the church community? Or parents of a child with a disability, how did you know that you AND your child were welcome? Or church leaders, what is your church doing to welcome someone who is living with a disability? 

Disability Concerns
Q&A
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How has your church celebrated disability week?

In response to my blog last week about Disability Week, Steve Nyenhuis asked, "Our church celebrated Disability Awareness Sunday yesterday. Our Friendship Class joined the praise team in leading the congregation in worship. Members of the class also participated by greeting and ushering, reading Scripture and bringing God's greeting. Our pastor used Luke 14:1-14 as his text. All who worshipped were blessed, I'm sure. What other churches participated? Can you share your experiences, too?"
Disability Concerns
Q&A
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How do I prepare for the future for my child?

My wife Bev and I have had 25 years of experience in walking with our daughter Nicole, who lives with severe, multiple disabilities. Thanks to Bev's forward thinking, we've prayed, and sought advice, and read books and magazines so that we could keep looking ahead to do what's best for Nicole. I ran across this brief guide today that looks like it could be very helpful: Charting the Life Course: A Guide for Individuals, Families, and Professionals . Charting the Life Course uses a matrix of six life stages: 1) Wondering if Meeting Milestones, 2) Getting the Diagnosis, 3) Everyday Life during...
Disability Concerns
Report
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Mental Health: Clergy Jobs Often Equal Stress

This survey focused on United Methodist clergy, but I would guess that it's conclusions are broadly applicable to clergy from many denominations. "Answering God's call shouldn't be bad for your health. But for about half of all ordained United Methodist clergy, it is."

Pastors
Blog
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Let's Have Some Awkward Conversations

As congregational members who do not have intellectual disabilities engage week in and week out with those who do, everyone learns and grows. People have to learn how to talk with others who are much different from them. That requires everyone to take risks, to reach out to one another, to have awkward conversations that will, over time, become less awkward.

Disability Concerns

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