Review of Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities

“An Incredible Blueprint”

This is how an Amazon reviewer described Erik W. Carter’s 2007 text, Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities (Brookes Publishing, Baltimore. ISBN 9781997667434, $18.75 new/$14.33 used) and I concur.

“An Incredible Blueprint”

This is how an Amazon reviewer described Erik W. Carter’s 2007 text, Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities (Brookes Publishing, Baltimore. ISBN 9781997667434, $18.75 new/$14.33 used) and I concur.

Described on the cover as a “guide for service providers, families, and congregations,” Dr. Carter, a special education professor and researcher at Vanderbilt University, accomplishes his goal to provide such a guide with careful attention to detail. It could serve as an excellent on-going resource to faith congregations of any tradition wishing to extend hospitality to special populations in order to create and maintain a sense of belonging, being in community, and employing natural supports so that all participants in this journey may experience mutual reciprocity, where gifts of the spirit are not merely extended to such populations but also returned, understood, and appreciated.

For brevity’s sake, I wish to highlight the many tools Dr. Carter provides throughout the text to catalyze growth in stages of organizational development. In part, they include Indicators of Welcome, Conversation Starters, a Congregational Outreach Survey, suggestions for Interacting with People with Developmental Disabilities, and multiple instruments designed to strengthen partnerships between faith based groups and community based service providers.

I would recommend that readers check Erik’s numerous online links carefully, over time there is inevitably an issue of “link rot” (loss of URL connections due to organizational changes, etc.) However, a random sample of his links I conducted as a part of this review did not indicate any as of now. If approached by a congregation asking, “Where and how do we start?” I would reply, “Buy this book.”

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