Recommendations for Including People with Intellectual Disabilities in Faith Communities

From: Volume 13, Issue 1: Spring 2016, Christian Education and Special Needs Ministry Pages 109-126


Although people with intellectual disabilities have a low rate of participation in faith communities, such participation has been identified as playing a significant role in their quality of life. This literature review examines the literature for recommendations of specific strategies to increase the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in the life and activities of faith communities. The results indicate that there is a need for meaningful inclusion of people with disabilities in faith communities beyond physical presence. Several strategies for doing so are recommended, including utilizing the expertise of special educators, using explicit teaching strategies, and providing training for leaders and members of faith communities. Recommendations for further research are discussed.

Key Words: faith communities, religion, spirituality, disabilities, inclusion



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