Activities & Resources

 Annual Conference of the AAIDD

Proposals for presentations and workshops must be submitted via the Call for Proposals process at

journalcover.jpgJournal of Disability & Religion

The Journal of Disability & Religion provides an interfaith, interdisciplinary forum for people interested in the intersections of religion, disability, human services, and academic research to come together, meet, and learn. The aim of this exchange is to support people with disabilities and their families as well as those who are working with them in the purview of their faith communities and traditions. It addresses religious and spiritual practices and beliefs from the perspective of inclusive communities for people with disabilities.

Your membership in the Religion and Spirituality Special Interest Group of AAIDD provides you with access to the Journal of Disability & Religion. Keep up with current conversations on disability and theology by many of the leading voices in this area, as well as investigate historical roots. Here’s how:

    • Login to your account on
    • Select “Journals” under “Publications” which is on the top of your screen.
    • You will find the AAIDD Journals listed first, and then the Journal of Disability & Religion (currently listed as the Journal of Religion, Disability, & Health).
    • Select the “view” button to the right, which looks like this: 
    • This will bring you to a page with a “Click here to access the journal” link that will remain active for 5 minutes.
    • Follow the link, and you will be brought to a page that lists links for all volumes, from “Latest Articles back to Volume 1 from 1994.


Gleanings is a resource compilation, available as a free subscription from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Religion and Spirituality Division, and edited by the Rev. Bill Gaventa. It includes annotated links to blogs, videos, books, articles, and conferences on disability issues touching on politics, theology, faith, culture, science, and more. We would love to have you contribute to the newsletter! If you have a news story or an idea for an article, send Bill an email at

Division updates are sent out occasionally as related to AAIDD activities, latest happenings, and opportunities to get involved.

Visit our sign-up page to receive both Gleanings and division updates, or Click here to view past newsletters.


Henri J. M. Nouwen Award

Out of the deep respect and high regards for Henri J. M. Nouwen, his pastoral heart, sensitive compassion and dedication to each individual’s spirituality, the Religion & Spirituality Interest Network of the American Association on Intellectual and
Developmental Disabilities recognizes and acknowledge individuals who reflect the compassion, commitment, ministry and servanthood that values and esteems people with developmental disabilities.

Click here to learn more about the Henri J. M. Nouwen Award.

Award Recipients:

Benjamin T. Conner receives the Henri J. M. Nouwen Award from Anne Masters at the Division meeting in 2016
  • 2020 Rev. Terry DeYoung
  • 2019 Rev. Andy Calder
  • 2018 Lida Merrill
  • Dr. Thomas Hoeksema
  • 2016 Benjamin T. Conner
  • 2015 Barbara J. Newman
  • 2014 Nella Uitvlugt
  • 2013 Sister Gabrielle Kowalski
  • 2012 Rev. Bill Gaventa
  • 2010 David Morstad
  • 2008 Reverend Joseph D. McNulty
  • 2007 Nancy Eiesland
  • 2006 Ron Vredeveld
  • 2005 Sara Simon
  • 2004 Charles Luce
  • 2003 Jimmy Olin Pierson
  • 2002 Ginny Thornburgh
  • 2001 Sr. Sue Mostellar

Spiritual Support Certification

This certification process seeks to ensure that individuals whose work focuses on providing and/or facilitating ministry with people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) meet certain standards of competence.

Certification is designed for those persons who promote spiritual support among persons with I/DD. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to lay ministers, clergy, rabbis, chaplains in various settings, and others whose work satisfies the criteria.

Send us a message if the certification process is something that you may be interested in pursuing, or view the certification process here.

Additional resources

Along with the Journal of Disability & Religion and our Gleanings newsletter, there are a number of other sites devoted to equipping religious leaders or those at the intersection of disability and faith. Here are a few places to begin: