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Better Together:   Erik Carter                           Institute on Disability and TheologyInclusive Congregations    Su...
What exactly do we mean by an “inclusivecongregation” or “inclusive religious education”?What are the markers or indicator...
Before Contemporary Special Education                                                1975• 1 million children with disabil...
Some Influential Factors In Public Schools                     Parent                    Advocacy   Professional           ...
A National Picture of Inclusive Education                                   Same Classrooms                               ...
of 1975, this chapter has been successful in ensuring children with disabilities and the families ofsuch children access t...
Is Inclusive Education Possible?                 “Yet, for every student who           remains educationally segregated th...
Important Elements of                         Are These Relevant in the Church?  Inclusion In Schools
Some Important Elements1.Presence2.Shared space (least restrictive environment)3.Natural proportions (age-appropriate prog...
1. Presence
Are We Reaching All of Our Community?                                             Temporarily Without Disabilities 100%   ...
Children and Youth with Disabilities                                 Learning Disabilities                                ...
Are Invitations Being           Extended?
Is Everyone Invited?• Passive Invitations• Active Invitations• Personal Invitations• But, are Invitations Actually  Receiv...
Is Everyone Invited?• Passive Invitations• Active Invitations• Personal Invitations• But, are Invitations Actually  Receiv...
Access SymbolsAccess for Individuals Who      Symbol               Audio            Telephone  Are Blind or Have Low    fo...
www.woodlawnunited.ca
http://www.interfaithdisability.org/worshiplink.php
http://www.interfaithdisability.org/worshiplink.php
http://www.interfaithdisability.org/worshiplink.php
Active Invitations• Visit or share information with...   • Independent living centers   • Group homes   • Parent support g...
2. Shared Space   “Least Restrictive Environment”
3. “Natural” ProportionsAge-Appropriate Activities
4. Universal Design
Accessibility Checklists• Through the Roof Accessibility Checklist  www.throughtheroof.com• Congregational Assessment Surv...
Other Aspects of Accessibility• Chemical sensitivities• Scent-free area• Food-free zones• Gluten-free bread and juice• Shu...
5. One Person at a Time   Individualized Planning
Potential Questions for Parents/Family Members• In what ways would you like to see your child involved in this congregatio...
Potential Questions for Parents/Family Members • How would you describe your child’s faith? What are the best ways to   co...
One Example Support RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMS       DESIGNING INCLUSIVE Plan                                           ...
How does your child communicate with others?What types of assistance (if any) will your child need with eating, getting ar...
6. Partial Participation
7. Natural Supports
8. Connections to Peers
9. Valued Roles
10. Prepared, Committed,    and Caring Educators
11. Parents as Partners
12. Vision of Leaders
Inclusion Awareness Eventswww.throughtheroof.org     www.pcusa.org/phewa      www.inclusioninworship.orgwww.joniandfriends...
Yet Another Framework
Ministry Apart FromMinistry ToMinistry AmongMinistry WithMinistry By
“four simple questions”• What are we doing well right now?• What could we be doing better?• What could we be doing differe...
For More Information...     Carter, E. W. (2007).    Including people with      disabilities in faith  communities: A guid...
Markers of an Inclusive Congregation
Markers of an Inclusive Congregation
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Markers of an Inclusive Congregation

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These slides were part of a discussion section at the 2012 Summer Institute on Disability and Theology. The focus of the discussion was what makes a congregation a place of welcome and hospitality for people with developmental disabilities and their families. For more information about this discussion, contact Erik Carter (erik.carter at vanderbilt.edu).

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Markers of an Inclusive Congregation

  1. 1. Better Together: Erik Carter Institute on Disability and TheologyInclusive Congregations Summer 2012
  2. 2. What exactly do we mean by an “inclusivecongregation” or “inclusive religious education”?What are the markers or indicators of a “welcomingcongregation”?For anyone?For people with particular disabilities?For their families?What supports are needed to start or sustain this?Are these even the right questions to pose?
  3. 3. Before Contemporary Special Education 1975• 1 million children with disabilities excluded entirely from public school• Almost 4 million children with disabilities not receiving appropriate educational services• Related services rarely provided• Disabilities go undetected resulting in unsuccessful education experiences• Services often had to be found outside of system, at families expense
  4. 4. Some Influential Factors In Public Schools Parent Advocacy Professional Self- Advocacy Advocacy Current Practices Legislation Research Litigation
  5. 5. A National Picture of Inclusive Education Same Classrooms Both Classrooms Mostly Separate 5% Different School or Facility 18% 53% 24%
  6. 6. of 1975, this chapter has been successful in ensuring children with disabilities and the families ofsuch children access to a free appropriate public education and in improving educational resultsfor children with disabilities. Inclusion in the Public Schools(4) However, the implementation of this chapter has been impeded by low expectations, and aninsufficient focus on applying replicable research on proven methods of teaching and learning forchildren with disabilities.(5) Almost 30 years of research and experience has demonstrated that the education of childrenwith disabilities can be made more effective by— (A) having high expectations for such children and ensuring their access to the general education curriculum in the regular classroom, to the maximum extent possible, in order to— (i) meet developmental goals and, to the maximum extent possible, the challenging expectations that have been established for all children; and (ii) be prepared to lead productive and independent adult lives, to the maximum extent possible; PUBLIC LAW 108–446—DEC. 3, 2004 118 STAT. 2647 (B) strengthening the role and responsibility of parents and ensuring that families of such Public Law 108–446 children have meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children at 108th Congress An Act To reauthorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and for other pur- poses. Dec. 3, 2004 [H.R. 1350] school and at home; Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Individuals with Disabilities Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004. Education Improvement Act of 2004’’. 20 USC 1400 note. SEC. 2. ORGANIZATION OF THE ACT. (C) coordinating this chapter with other local, educational service agency, State, and This Act is organized into the following titles: Title I—Amendments to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. Title II—National Center for Special Education Research. Title III—Miscellaneous Provisions. Federal school improvement efforts, including improvement efforts under the Elementary and TITLE I—AMENDMENTS TO THE INDI- VIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDU- CATION ACT Secondary Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.], in order to ensure that such children SEC. 101. AMENDMENTS TO THE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDU- CATION ACT. Parts A through D of the Individuals with Disabilities Edu- cation Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.) are amended to read as follows: benefit from such efforts and that special education can become a service for such children ‘‘PART A—GENERAL PROVISIONS ‘‘SEC. 601. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS; FINDINGS; PURPOSES. ‘‘(a) SHORT TITLE.—This title may be cited as the ‘Individuals 20 USC 1400. with Disabilities Education Act’. rather than a place where such children are sent; ‘‘(b) TABLE OF CONTENTS.—The table of contents for this title is as follows: ‘‘Sec. ‘‘Sec. 601. 602. ‘‘PART A—GENERAL PROVISIONS Short title; table of contents; findings; purposes. Definitions. ‘‘Sec. 603. Office of Special Education Programs. ‘‘Sec. 604. Abrogation of State sovereign immunity. ‘‘Sec. 605. Acquisition of equipment; construction or alteration of facilities. ‘‘Sec. 606. Employment of individuals with disabilities. ‘‘Sec. 607. Requirements for prescribing regulations. ‘‘Sec. 608. State administration. ‘‘Sec. 609. Paperwork reduction. ‘‘Sec. 610. Freely associated states.
  7. 7. Is Inclusive Education Possible? “Yet, for every student who remains educationally segregated there are other students with similar attributes, abilities, and needs who are successfully included. This simple fact suggests that whether a student with a disability is meaningfully included may have less to do with his or her characteristics and more to do with the attitudes, skills, structure, and practices of the adults responsible for providing education.” Michael Giangreco
  8. 8. Important Elements of Are These Relevant in the Church? Inclusion In Schools
  9. 9. Some Important Elements1.Presence2.Shared space (least restrictive environment)3.Natural proportions (age-appropriate programs)4.Universal design principles (accessibility)5.One person at a time (individualized planning)6.Partial participation7.Natural supports8.Connections and relationships with peers (shared activities)9.Valued roles10.Prepared, committed, and caring educators11.Parents as partners12.Leaders communicating a compelling vision
  10. 10. 1. Presence
  11. 11. Are We Reaching All of Our Community? Temporarily Without Disabilities 100% With Disabilities 90% 80% 70% 60% ? 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Your Community Your Congregation
  12. 12. Children and Youth with Disabilities Learning Disabilities Speech/language Impairments Intellectual Disability 9% Emotional/behavioral Disorder 8% Other Health Impairment Other Disabilities 8% 47% 10% 19%
  13. 13. Are Invitations Being Extended?
  14. 14. Is Everyone Invited?• Passive Invitations• Active Invitations• Personal Invitations• But, are Invitations Actually Received?
  15. 15. Is Everyone Invited?• Passive Invitations• Active Invitations• Personal Invitations• But, are Invitations Actually Received?
  16. 16. Access SymbolsAccess for Individuals Who Symbol Audio Telephone Are Blind or Have Low for Accessibility Description Typewriter (TTY) Vision Volume Assistive Listening Sign Language Accessible Control Telephone Systems Interpretation Print Information Closed Opened Braille Symbol Captioning Captioning Symbol www.graphicartistsguild.org/resources/disability-access-symbols/
  17. 17. www.woodlawnunited.ca
  18. 18. http://www.interfaithdisability.org/worshiplink.php
  19. 19. http://www.interfaithdisability.org/worshiplink.php
  20. 20. http://www.interfaithdisability.org/worshiplink.php
  21. 21. Active Invitations• Visit or share information with... • Independent living centers • Group homes • Parent support groups • Residential facilities and nursing homes
  22. 22. 2. Shared Space “Least Restrictive Environment”
  23. 23. 3. “Natural” ProportionsAge-Appropriate Activities
  24. 24. 4. Universal Design
  25. 25. Accessibility Checklists• Through the Roof Accessibility Checklist www.throughtheroof.com• Congregational Assessment Survey www.accessibilitynetwork.net• Congregational Audit of Disability Accessibility and Inclusion www.pcusa.org/phewa/pdc.htm• Accessibility Audit Guide www.crcna.org/pages/disability.cfm• Signs of an Open Door Parish www.ncpd.org
  26. 26. Other Aspects of Accessibility• Chemical sensitivities• Scent-free area• Food-free zones• Gluten-free bread and juice• Shush-free zone
  27. 27. 5. One Person at a Time Individualized Planning
  28. 28. Potential Questions for Parents/Family Members• In what ways would you like to see your child involved in this congregation?• What has been your child’s previous experience in other congregations?• Tell us about your child. • What does she enjoy doing? Not enjoy doing? • What are her gifts and talents? What does she do well? What does she love to “show off”? • How does she communicate with others? How does she express excitement? Frustration?• Tell us about your family.• Tell us about your child’s disability. How might her disability affect her involvement in congregational activities? • How can we best support the positive behavior of your child? • Are there things we should definitely avoid doing or saying? • Are there things we should absolutely do? • What does she find most rewarding? • What is the best way to respond when your child becomes upset?
  29. 29. Potential Questions for Parents/Family Members • How would you describe your child’s faith? What are the best ways to communicate spiritual truths? • Are there important goals that you have for your child as she participates in our program this year? As you look into the future? • What could we do to make our children’s program the most exciting time of the week for your child? • How would you like us to respond when other children or adults ask us about your child’s disability? • What do you see as the biggest challenges to including your child in congregational activities? • How can our congregation help support your family as you raise your child? Can we _________ [offer specific examples]? • Is there anything else that you would like us to know about your child or family?
  30. 30. One Example Support RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMS DESIGNING INCLUSIVE Plan 101 RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PLAN FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTHI. OverviewWe are excited that your child will be involved in our programs! We would like toask you to provide the following information so that we can ensure that our pro-grams meet the needs of your child.Date:Name: Date of birth:Parents/Caregiver:Address:Telephone: E-mail:If absolutely necessary, where can we find you during the time we are with yourchild?K Main sanctuary K Classroom: K Other:What are some things that your child really enjoys doing?
  31. 31. How does your child communicate with others?What types of assistance (if any) will your child need with eating, getting around, orusing the restroom?What behavioral challenges might we For each challenge, what are someencounter when interacting with your strategies for responding that seemchild (if any)? to work well?• •• •• •• •
  32. 32. 6. Partial Participation
  33. 33. 7. Natural Supports
  34. 34. 8. Connections to Peers
  35. 35. 9. Valued Roles
  36. 36. 10. Prepared, Committed, and Caring Educators
  37. 37. 11. Parents as Partners
  38. 38. 12. Vision of Leaders
  39. 39. Inclusion Awareness Eventswww.throughtheroof.org www.pcusa.org/phewa www.inclusioninworship.orgwww.joniandfriends.org www.crcna.org/pages/disability www.blhs.org
  40. 40. Yet Another Framework
  41. 41. Ministry Apart FromMinistry ToMinistry AmongMinistry WithMinistry By
  42. 42. “four simple questions”• What are we doing well right now?• What could we be doing better?• What could we be doing differently?• What can we begin doing right now to get us started moving toward our goals/vision? Forest & Pearpoint (1997) www.fsrcdane.net/library/docs/FOURQUES.DOC
  43. 43. For More Information... Carter, E. W. (2007). Including people with disabilities in faith communities: A guide for service providers, families, and congregations. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.

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