The Religion & Spirituality Division is one of thirteen professional divisions within the AAIDD. Religion & Spirituality Division members include chaplains, clergy, religious educators, coordinators of ministries with people with disabilities, residential ministries, and staff from a variety of disciplines and settings who share a common commitment to the role of faith and spirituality in services with people with developmental disabilities.
Benefits of joining the Religion and Spirituality Division
- All of the benefits of AAIDD Membership!
- Electronic subscription to the Journal of Religion, Disability and Health.
- Automatically be added to our monthly Religion and Spirituality Division Email Newsletter
(Be sure to join the Religion and Spirituality Division when you sign up)
The importance of being connected to national religious and secular networks related to supports for people with disabilities and their families:
The national service and support systems for people with disabilities has radically changed in the past decades, along with the growth in a number of national faith initiatives and networks. For those in ministries with people with disabilities, you have to bridge at least two worlds:
- You can work in service and advocacy systems related to disability, but if you don’t address spiritual interests and possibilities with the people you support, you are missing out on a primary natural community resource and, perhaps, not addressing an area that is really important to the people you support
- You can work in religious services and ministries, but if you are not connected in some way to cutting edges in service and advocacy organizations, you are missing out on possible resources and opportunities to support people with disabilities in other parts of their lives as well as, the Bible might say, “hiding your light under a bushel” while also, perhaps, wishing that those organizations respected spiritual and religious supports more deeply.
So we encourage you to get connected.
- Find out what your faith tradition is doing in this area of ministry and connect with them.
- Find out if there are local, regional or state ecumenical or interfaith networks addressing disability. There are a growing number of these around the country.
- Find a couple of national ecumenical or interfaith organizations to join that best fit your needs.
- Sign up for the “Disability Daily” of the American Association of People with Disabilities to catch trending stories at www.aapd.com.
- For an interdisciplinary network that bridges policies and practices in both the religious and secular arenas, we invite you to consider the AAIDD Religion and Spirituality Division. You will get access to four journals: one very scientific journal, (AJIDD) a second focused on policy and practice (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities), a third new online journal simply called Inclusion, and, if you add the Religion and Spirituality Division to your AAIDD membership, you get an electronic subscription to the Journal of Religion, Disability, and Health. The Division also does newsletters with information about Division activities as well as other networks, resources, training events and more. Our unique strength, we believe, is standing on that bridge mentioned above or at the intersection of religion and disability.
A revised membership structure for AAIDD means that membership can be very reasonable depending on the options you want (e.g., electronic vs. hard copies of the journals). The Religion and Spirituality Division membership on top of the basic fee is $30, by far the cheapest way to gain access to the Journal of Religion, Disability and Health. You can also sign up for the Division newsletters and mailings. Give us a try. Contribute your insights, questions, and resources. Or, if we are not right, ask about others. And come on board!