In a comment to my blog post, "Do Older People Have 'Disabilities,'" J Cornelisse wrote: "Isn't it funny how we have so many things to make our lives more convenient (remote controls, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, little things on our key chains to lock and unlock our cars, automatic windows and doors, garage door openers - you get the point) and yet if using a hearing aid or a walker would make our lives easier..."
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Most people in North America over age 75 live with a disability (according to Statistics Canada and the US Census Bureau). Yet if you were to ask a group of them to raise their hand if they lived with a disability, very few of them would. My mother lives with such severe dementia that she resides in assisted living. Yet, if someone were to ask...
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...
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
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
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.
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.
Last month’s Christianity Today featured a testimony by David Weiss called “God of the Schizophrenic: Rediscovering My Faith Amid the Ravages of Mental Illness.” David puts a face on a disorder that many fear and most misunderstand.
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 . . .
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.
Three new resources: importance of educating all of our children, recognizing the vast impact of mental illness on our youth, learning more about disability and its impact.
Any congregation that is serious about hospitality and serious about justice must recognize that disability isn’t about those people over there, it is about us, and it affects nearly every aspect of church life (as well as society).
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.
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
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
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.
If you are a mom or dad of a child (including adult child) with disabilities, we now have a place for you to share your stories, comments, questions, concerns, frustrations, joys, triumphs, and delights. This new forum is for you.
Some people might think that worshipers who stay in their cars for the service are too lazy or antisocial to get out of their cars to worship the Lord. But this unusual setting for worship may be the only way that some are able to attend worship on a regular basis.
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.
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?”
Some in Denmark aim to make the nation a “Down syndrome-free perfect society” (actually a headline from a Danish newspaper). If you were to build a perfect society, how would you build it? What you would include in it would be telling. But perhaps more revealing would be what you might exclude from your perfect world...