Church leaders and congregation members across the state gathered for “Disability and the Church,” a one-day conference to explore disability ministries for all ages. The conference was sponsored by Samford’s Center for Congregational Resources along with partner sponsors Beeson Divinity School, Center for Faith and Health, Center for Worship and the Arts, and Orlean Beeson School of Education.
The event was developed to help those in church leadership find solutions to better welcome those with disabilities who may be less likely to attend church. Survey results published by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities showed that of 400 parents of children with special needs, researchers found that one-third had changed faith communities because they felt their child was not included.
Discussions and workshops throughout the day included topics like special needs ministry for children, supporting families through diagnosis and how churches can walk alongside adolescents with disabilities.