What Does Inclusion in the Church Look Like?

Reflections at the crossroads of faith and disability

by David Morstad

When it comes to people with developmental disabilities, integration into typical environments is always the best option.  Or is it? 

One look at wherepeople with developmental disabilities have lived over the past few decades demonstrates a decidedshift away from institutions and, more recently, even group homes.  A similar move has happened in public school classrooms.  The number of self-contained special education schools and classrooms is a fraction of what it once was.  The future (and the present, for that matter) belongs to more independent and integrated environments. 

Still, some specialized and dedicated activities remain and most people would agree that they are, in no way, viewed as problems to be solved.  Special Olympics is wildly popular and continues to offer important experiences that may be unavailable elsewhere.  These programs offer people an opportunity to experience success, camaraderie, joy and interaction.

As people of…

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