Hello? Can you hear us?
by Stephen Taylor
Do you ever get frustrated when you want to be a part of a conversation but are ignored? Or, worse yet, you want to be part of a conversation but aren’t even invited? There is no feeling more isolating than being in a room full of people but not being acknowledged. Maybe my height scares people, but I really doubt that. My guess is when people see my hearing aids, they assume that I am unable to hear and choose to ignore me. They may be right about my not being able to hear in that setting, but they should at least recognize the fact that I am in the room. People in the disability community experience this on a daily basis and have been doing so for centuries.
Living on the Edge: The Messy Truth of Bathrooms and Disability
Over the last several years, as I have begun to devote more of my life and ministry to advocating with those with disabilities and their families, I have increasingly felt myself being drawn to paint a intimate, personal picture of disability for the general public. Despite the grand narratives of overcoming great odds that often get spotlighted in general society, I find that where the rubber meets the road in life with a disability is in the small day-to-day moments that no one sees.
The Weight of Microagressions
by Lisa Hancock
The stares that tell you you don’t belong. Invasive questions about how, why, and “how badly” you are disabled. Pats on the head from complete strangers. These are all examples of microagressions. Further, these are all microagressions I have personally witnessed and experienced as the wife and primary caregiver for my husband, Justin.
The Cold Reality of our Churches
by Stephen Taylor
On any given Sunday, churches roll out the red carpet, welcoming anyone and everyone
to come inside. This scenario is replayed by churches across all denominations. They welcome
all individuals, but once they are inside the church, families are segregated into their respective
spaces: parents attend church in the sanctuary; teens head to student life; kids head to children’s
ministry; and, lastly, individuals with disabilities—particularly children with disabilities—are
sent to an entirely different area. Here, the church is dumbfounded about what to do—if an
individual does not look like me or act like me, then what are we supposed to do?
by Sharon McCart, MDiv
For years I have used the word “inclusion.” I have worked hard for inclusion of people with disabilities in our congregations. As a rule, I do not like special programs that are places of segregation, keeping people with disabilities separate from the rest of the congregation. I want children with disabilities to be included in Sunday School classes with other children the same age. I want adults with disabilities to be included in whatever the rest of the adults are doing. I have spoken and taught and written and advocated for inclusion.
When I Look Back
by Jay Hancock
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. Soren Kierkegaard
When I look back at life it’s difficult for me to order my thoughts into a coherent list of experiences. With that in mind this is a stream of consciousness recollection of my life and experience with my brother and best friend, Justin.
by Stephen Taylor
Most of my life has been lived outside of a faith community because I have spent most of my life trying to “fit” in. For years, I understood God to be a divine being who wanted nothing to do with me. I was the odd one, the redhead step child who was ignored, unacknowledged, or even worse, invisible to others. At the age of 12, I had an interaction with a member of the clergy that was devastating to me.
Faith and Disability, My Story
I have a complex relationship between my faith as a follower of Christ and my identity as a disabled person. It took me several years to understand that my disability was not some sort of awkward and ungainly addition to my life, and therefore something I had to set nervously next to my faith in Christ.