Including Disability and Special Needs

Including Disability and Special Needs in Houses of Worship

David Jesperson attends St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church and is interested in organizing an interfaith network focused on people with disabilities and their families.

Here is his description of this work:

Last year, I started building a Faith Inclusion Directory, which is now at sdfaithinclusion.com. The Directory is intended to become a useful resource for people with disabilities and their families in the San Diego area. It is a work in progress, but the Directory includes contact information for faith communities that are practicing inclusion, and fostering belonging, with and without a formal disability or special needs ministry/program. However, not every contact person in the Directory advocates and coordinates inclusion for individuals at every age level.

My wife and I have supported some of the faith and disability work of Erik Carter at Vanderbilt University, and I have included some of Dr. Carter’s work at the website, starting with his belonging model. I’m also on the San Diego-Imperial Regional Advisory Committee, State Council on Developmental Disabilities.

I am interested in seeing an interfaith disabilities inclusion network develop in San Diego, similar to those in other parts of the country. There are far more families in need of a faith community than there are faith communities prepared to welcome them, and networking with those already doing disability ministry is important when starting a disability ministry.  I may develop this into an organization or affiliate to the Faith Inclusion Network—https://www.faithinclusionnetwork.org/ .

David Jespersen

Member, Regional Advisory Committee, SCDD
https://scdd.ca.gov/sandiego/

jesperdlam@gmail.com