Striving to remove barriers that prevent us from building Vibrant, Diverse, Inclusive, Accessible Communities!



Faith in Access: Bridging Conversations between Religion and Disability

Centered bridge i spanning the gap between various eligious symbols on the left and various disability icons on the right.

"Congregations are a vital part of many people's lives, often the most important one, if only for social reasons. They serve all geographic and ethnic communities: Latino, African American, Jewish, Muslim, Baha'i, Buddhist and others. While ethnic and racial conceptions about disability certainly differ, minority and oppressed groups tend to share concern about social justice issues and exclusion. Yet the experiences and views of people with disabilities have received limited attention within multicultural movements. This lack of concern is noteworthy because people with disabilities are in all these groups. Indeed, people with disabilities represent the world's largest multicultural minority."

The article titled "Faith in Access: Bridging Conversations between Religion and Disability" by Robert C. Anderson, Ph.D., presents a thought-provoking exploration of the intersection between religion and disability. Published in Disability Studies Quarterly (Summer 2006, Volume 26, No. 3), this article delves into the complexities of engaging the religious community in conversations about disability inclusion.

Anderson highlights the crucial need for mutual engagement between the disability and religious communities to disrupt barriers to access. Despite historical tensions, the article underscores the potential for impactful collaboration between these two spheres. By emphasizing inclusion practices in the United States, Anderson provides a comprehensive overview for disability scholars and advocates.

The article compellingly argues for the importance of engaging the religious community, citing its significant role as one of the largest networks for inclusion in the United States. With the religious community controlling substantial charitable giving and influencing public attitudes, the potential for meaningful impact on disability inclusion is immense.

Furthermore, Anderson addresses the historical problems and attitudes within religious practices toward people with disabilities. By examining theological interpretations and societal perceptions, the article encourages constructive and critical conversations aimed at fostering inclusion.

The author also navigates the legal complexities surrounding religion, disability, and public mandates, highlighting the nuanced interplay between constitutional principles and disability rights.

Through compelling insights and actionable recommendations, "Faith in Access" urges readers to consider the profound implications of bridging conversations between religion and disability. This article serves as a catalyst for dialogue and advocacy, inviting readers to explore the transformative potential of inclusive partnerships between these two communities. Accessible, insightful, and thought-provoking, this article is a must-read for anyone interested in promoting diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in society.

Read Faith in Access: Bridging Conversations between Religion and Disability

by Robert C. Anderson, Ph.D.
The Center for Religion and Disability
Pelham, Alabama USA


Striving to remove barriers that prevent us from building a Diverse, Vibrant, Inclusive, Accessible Community!

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