I want to take this time to introduce myself, Neil Cudney, as the President of the Religion and Spirituality Division for the next two years, as well, update you on some of the current work.
One behalf of the division executive committee, I invite you to get acquainted with the division and encourage you to participate in the upcoming AAIDD June conference, and our post-conference Division day on June 29th 2017.
The focus of our day will be the new Home and Community Based Services regulations in the USA and the AODA in Canada, two pieces of government legislation that expect service providers to support faith and culture choices of persons with disabilities. It will be an important day of presentations and discussion. We are making arrangements so that participants will be able to join online. We would love to have you there in person but understand that distance and costs are a reality. By creating an online option, we hope that many of our members will join the day.
We have updated the division’s website to increase accessibility and engagement. Please let us know if you have any ideas you would like to see included. You can also follow along with the division on Facebook (facebook.com/aaiddreligion) or Twitter (@aaiddreligion).
We want to remind you of a great resource and encourage you to subscribe to the Journal of Disability and Religion. There you will find a wide array of articles addressing spirituality in the lives of persons with disabilities. The articles are from all over the globe and represent the various perspectives of spirituality. You will find a link to the journal on the division website. Attached you will find a sample article.
The Division also offers a professional certification program. It is a great opportunity for those who have, as part of their responsibilities, the mandate to encourage, instruct and lead spiritual supports in their agency or faith community. It is a guided course of study and research that will deepen understanding and engagement. Upon successful completion, the Division grants and endorses that the person has met the requirements and expectations of the Certificate.
One of our hopes for the division is that it would become a place of meeting and collaboration for anyone who is invested in promoting the spiritual hopes, dreams and desires of persons with disabilities.
Thank your for being a member of this Division, and we hope to be able to support, encourage and engage you in this important work. You can help us in two ways.
- Considering coming yourself, or identifying a person within your organization to attend.
- Help us to spread the word and encourage others to become a part of the Division?
If you have any questions, comments or thoughts regarding the division, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours, Dr Neil Cudney, President