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In Memory of My Friend, Nella Uitvlugt

Shortly after I started in July 2006 she initiated a meeting with me in which she told me who I needed to watch out for, who I could trust as a fellow advocate, and who and where I needed to “push.” I think that “push” was one of her favorite words. For me, pushing is going to be harder with Nella gone. 

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Accessibility Takes Constant Attention

Do people think that wheel chairs have only one wheel, and they can get through this? I was wishing on everyone that had not cleared their curb cuts or shoveled their sidewalks that they would have to spend one day in a wheelchair so they would get a better understanding on how hard it is to get around when you do not shovel.

Disability Concerns
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I Am Exceptional

An acquaintance walked up, punched me on the shoulder and jovially called out, “How’s it going, big guy?” In that moment I was reminded again that I am exceptional. I am six feet eight inches tall and weigh 325 pounds, so I am mostly known for my exceptional size.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Mom's Last Little Light

Mom hasn’t been able to initiate conversation for several years, but only a few months ago yet, mom and I could have two sentence conversations. I would say a brief sentence, and she would usually give some appropriate response. Those appropriate responses are gone too. Except one.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Diagnosing Evil

Just as psychologists have established criteria for diagnosing mental illness, we need criteria to identify when someone has slid so far down the path of moral unhealth that he would be called morally ill and in need of treatment. This approach would look for insights from various disciplines including theology.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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When is God Good?

Cancer disappears? God is great! Found a job? Praise God! Kids are healthy? Isn’t God good? Of course God is good in each of those wonderful situations. But what about those times when things aren’t all roses and sunshine?

Disability Concerns
Blog
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Another Side of Prolife

It must have been a decision made out of desperation – as desperate as the new mother who leaves her child in a basket on the steps of a social service agency. In this case, the “child” left to another’s care is 21-years-old.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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New Church A Special Journey with Extraordinary People

We are a community where people with special needs—along with those whose needs are not so obvious—work together in leading worship and Bible studies, providing pastoral care, etc. We never “dumb down,” but instead find concrete ways to bring the words of Christ alive and apply them to our various life situations.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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What's missing?

They both live in good group homes that are clean, caring, and provide various evening activities. Their group home brings them to church on Sundays. What is missing from this picture?

Disability Concerns
Blog
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How to Reduce the Flow of Transfers Out

Thirty-three percent of families changed their place of worship because their child with a disability was not included or welcomed into the life of the congregation. Of these families who left, some of them not only left their congregation, but left their faith tradition!

Disability Concerns
Blog
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The Web is the Limit

In 1985, I received a spinal cord injury. Now I can control my body only from the neck up. At the time of the injury, computers were mainly used in large offices. Few homes had them, and they were not linked together outside of an organization. Technology has greatly changed since that time, especially in what is now common, the Internet.

Disability Concerns
Blog
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My Closest Friend(s)

I still wonder sometimes if my friendships will last during a depression. Will they call? “How are you?” they ask. Do they want to know the painful truth? Sometimes it’s better to say “fine.”

Disability Concerns

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