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Church Communities Learning To Embrace The Disabled

According to the National Organization on Disability, about 56 million Americans have some kind of disability; that's about 18 percent of the population. The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act requires many organizations and businesses to provide improved access and services for the disabled, but codified certain exemptions for religious institutions. Nevertheless, mindful of the common religious imperative to care for the needy and marginalized, many faith communities have been working to become more physically and culturally inclusive of the disabled. At the same time, the disabled community has been becoming more vocal about their place in all sectors of society, increasing the pressure for institutions to become more accommodating to the full spectrum of human beingness. To help religion news reporters develop perspective and article themes, ReligionLink, a sister site of Religion Newswriters Association, has developed a resource page related to church congregations learning to embrace disabled members. The page, helpful for anyone researching the topic, includes links to disability rights organizations, disability ministries and information centers, and scholars and experts working in the area of disabilities, inclusion and rights. In addition, the page links to recent articles, blog posts and other media stories addressing related issues. Also read our feature article, "From Accessibility to Inclusion," and explore the links on our resource page, "People with Disabilities: Your Church's Great Overlooked Asset."

 

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