About 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability. Many are not having their needs met because of barriers to participation in rituals, worship and faith community activities at their places of worship. To truly empower people with disabilities to become agents of positive change in their local communities, we recognize that everyone has a role to play. Our Doors Are Open seminar helps all faith communities to understand how to open their mind, hearts, and doors to people with all kinds of abilities. Traditionally, faith communities position people with disabilities as recipients of care and not as givers. Most faith communities do not have proper representation of people with disabilities throughout their activities despite a desire to be open and inclusive. This disparity is often the result of lack of understanding of how to think about disability differently. In this seminar, students will learn the social model of disability, which positions disability as a function of exclusively designed environments rather than a lack of ability. Our Doors Are Open Seminar will guide students on how to see their activities and situations through an inclusive lens as well as how to take actions to improve inclusion and achieve the welcoming goals of congregations.
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