The National Collaborative on Faith and Disability Webinar Series Offers Supports for Promoting Inclusion in Faith Communities

March 3, 2015

The National Collaborative on Faith and Disability, a network of 14 UCEDDs, will offer the latest installment in its free monthly webinar series on Monday, March 30 at 1:00pm (CDT). Panelists will highlight congregational strategies for reaching out to agencies and working with them to identify and honor spiritual supports and enable inclusion and ongoing participation.

Following the first two sessions on honoring and acting on the spiritual needs and interests of people served and supported by provider agencies and some strategies for connecting with congregations, the series now moves to the faith community side of the partnership. This third webinar will explore ways that congregations and others in faith communities involved in inclusive faith supports have reached out to agencies in their own communities. What can provider agencies do best, from the perspective of faith community leaders? With Shelly Christensen, one of the leaders in Jewish inclusion initiatives as the moderator, panelists will come from the perspectives of building an interfaith, interagency coalition, of a single congregation, and initiatives within the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. to connect and collaborate with providers.

Panelists include:

  • Shelly Christensen, M.A., Executive Director and Founder, Inclusion Innovations, LLC
  • Karen Jackson, M.A., Founder and Director, Faith Inclusion Network
  • Cindy Merten, M.A., Director of Christian Education & All Abilities Inclusion Ministries, First Presbyterian Church, Birmingham
  • Mary O'Meara, Executive Board Member, International Catholic Foundation for the Service of Deaf Persons; Executive Director, Department of Special Needs Ministries, Archdiocese of Washington
  • Peg Kolm, Coordinator of the Office of Persons with Disabilities, Department of Special Needs Ministries, Archdiocese of Washington

Due to an overwhelming amount of interest, the series has been moved to a new webinar system to accommodate the high number of registered participants. Because of this, re-registration is required for all registrants.

Registration is required at:

The National Collaborative on Faith and Disability works to support people with disabilities, their families, and those who support them by providing national and international leadership in the areas of research, education, service, and dissemination related to disability, religion, and inclusive supports. Future dates and topics in the series include:

  • Monday, April 27, 2015: Strategies for Congregations to Use in Building Awareness and Commitment Within Congregations
  • Monday, June 29, 2015: Best Practices and Resources for Moving From Inclusion to Belonging as Contributing, Valued Members of Faith Communities

For more information on the activities on the Collaborative, visit: