SERIES: Disability and Faith: How Religious Groups Are Combating Ableism

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While fifteen percent of the global population is disabled, religious communities and spaces around the world are replete with ableist barriers of all kinds, whether it’s a meditative pose that excludes certain bodies, a synagogue’s bimah only accessible by stairs or a Christian hymn that equates blindness with sin. Despite these setbacks, disabled leaders and allies have been advancing accessibility in their theology, worship practices and physical spaces. For many, accessibility isn’t just a matter of morality — it’s a spiritual duty.

Religion News Service reported on how disabled and neurodivergent leaders across faith traditions are upending ableist assumptions and changing the religious landscape to be more hospitable to all.

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Articles

Religious groups mustn’t stall on accessibility, disability activists say
By Kathryn Post — July 29, 2022
(RNS) — ‘It’s not just a legal duty, or human rights duty. It’s a spiritual duty.’
Having autism makes finding a spiritual community difficult. Here are some ways to help.
By Amy Langston — July 29, 2022
(RNS) — Encourage community members to accept them for who they are and to become real friends. And realize that their religious expression will look different from yours.
10 ways to make your worship space less ableist
By Kathryn Post — July 29, 2022
(RNS) — There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to ending ableism, but disability activists spoke with RNS about where religious communities can start.
Disability theology: How religious beliefs can help or hinder accessibility
By Kathryn Post — July 29, 2022
(RNS) — A faith community with ramps and sign language interpreters can still embrace harmful theology.