AAIDD Religion and Spirituality Division Spirituality and Congregational Participation Action Plan Feedback

Introduction

There is strong interest in the division to affirm and facilitate support of spirituality and congregational participation for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The consensus is that a key area of need is facilitating conversation with service providers to include spirituality and congregational participation supports in individual support plans.

Introduction

There is strong interest in the division to affirm and facilitate support of spirituality and congregational participation for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The consensus is that a key area of need is facilitating conversation with service providers to include spirituality and congregational participation supports in individual support plans.

After much discussion during the Forum, there was general agreement that what is most needed to begin this process is to legitimize the issue for many groups: executive, middle management and direct care service providers. The issue also needs to saturate discussion across prime subjects of best practice. However, this is just the beginning of a multi year process with multiple parts, which can be developed concurrently by different work groups.

Collaborating with other organizations would be beneficial also, particularly ARC and TASH. ARC makes sense because of the joint statement, AAIDD and ARC Policy Statement: Religious Freedom and Rights, May 28, 2002, as well as its strong grassroots presence. TASH was suggested because they have a statement on spirituality, which they are updating currently.

A summary of the action plan discussed is below. It is a draft at this point, waiting for your input. Please review the outline below and provide feedback to the feedback at the bottom regarding the content and what work group you would like to participate on.

Spirituality and Congregational Participation Action Plan DRAFT

AAIDD Religion and Spirituality Division

Legitimize and Saturate

Spirituality and congregational support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities need to be legitimized in society and the perceptions of service providers at all levels: executive, middle management and direct care staff. For it to be recognized as a basic element of human wholeness and well-being, it needs to saturate discussions of best practice, such as:

  • Self-determination
  • Quality of life
  • Family quality of life
  • Inclusion
  • Person-centered planning
  • Diversity
  • Natural supports

Additionally, this project includes:

  1. Collaboration partners – ARC, TASH, ????
  2. Clear statement of purpose offering guidance to service providers
  3. Debunking the issue of “church and state.”
  4. Narratives – their power cannot be over emphasized. Stories about spirituality, faith and congregational participation, the good and the bad, need to be an integral part of this project.
  5. Distribution – preliminary and formal

Tools and Resources

  1. Assessment
    1. Review what’s out there
    2. Should we develop our own
    3. Quantitative/qualitative challenge
    4. Possibility to serve as extension for SIS or other person-centered planning tools
  2. Education
    1. Congregation
      1. Affirm core theology
      2. Facilitate relationships.
      3. Show how to be welcoming and affirming
      4. See the person beyond the disability
      5. Provide intro to disabilities and impact on congregational participation, education, and spiritual practice.
    2. Service provider
      1. See spirituality as part of human wholeness and well-being
      2. Move beyond one’s own spirituality experience and perceptions.
      3. Facilitate approach to different congregations.
      4. Facilitate relationships.
  3. Implementation
    1. Marketing
    2. Measurable?
    3. Distribution
    4. ????

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