Archive for the 'gifts' Category

Dr. Eric Carter: Creating a sense of belonging for Children and Adults with Disabilities

NOTE: Dr. Eric Carter is not affiliated with LDS or Brigham Young University; he first studied at Wheaton College and now is a Professor in the Department of Special Education at Vanderbilt University. He has concentrated his efforts toward the inclusion of people with disability in Churches, and while not an Orthodox Christian, has a lot of good insights that could be put into practice in Orthodox Christian Parishes. The following resource is fairly short and simple, summarizing the major themes he has found to be most helpful:

Ten simple ways to create a sense of belonging for children and adults with disabilities


Also, one of the many of Dr. Carter’s Presentations on You Tube. This one of the shorter ones:


Here are some other resources he has placed online which go into the details of these themes:

Putting faith and job seekers with disabilities to work

(Gal 5:6: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.)

One of Dr. Eric Carter’s Books:

Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities: A Guide for Service Providers, Families, and Congregations

Bio: Dr. Eric Carter Also: His Faith Ability Page

Supporting The Expression of Spirituality For Persons with Intellectual Disabilities:


John Swinton: Taking Seriously the Body of Jesus

Disability theology: Taking Seriously the Body of Jesus 

by John Swinton (a professor of Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland

I find two main themes in this article by Dr. Swinton to be very pertinent, very central to our life together with people who have disabilities:

  1. A reminder that knowledge pertains to the body, and not only to the mind.
  2. The harmonious working together of the Body of Christ- all members, including those with disabilities- is “the heart of the Gospel.” 

Books by John Swinton, the majority of which relate to persons with disabilities: Goodreads: John Swinton’s Books

Here’s one of them: Goodreads: Resurrecting the Person: Friendship and the Care of People with Mental Health Problems, by John Swinton



I wonder what’s inside?

To access:






Charlotte Riggle’s Blog and Books

Charlotte Riggle is an Orthodox Christian writer. There’s a lot of helpful information in her posts and writings for people with disabilities, their families, and their friends.

          St. Nicholas of Myra

Here are some examples of her posts which touch on the lives of persons with disabilities:  

There are also many reviews of newly published children’s books in her blog. Here’s Charlotte Riggle’s home page and her two children’s books:

Home Page:  Charlotte Riggle  

Books: Catherine’s Pascha & The Saint Nicholas Day Snow

Shop: Books, Gifts, and Embroidery Patterns

SBSK: “Normalizing the Diversity of the Human Condition.”

 *SBSK* More and more, I’m discovering that stories hit home, while mere information is often just deposited in the head. This website is not a Church site, but the stories that are told show forth how all people are made in the image of God. As descriptive words go, the word “special” has used up it’s shelf life in regard to people with disabilities; what is desired is not to be seen as special, but as a person like everyone else. While the title of this organization does begin the focus on the special, the home page reveals that the actual goal is to see everyone as normal (normalization)! For Orthodox Christians, to acknowledge that despite the great variety of peoples in the world, all are made in the image of God.

And while Orthodox Christians cannot affirm that all lifestyles are normal as the folks at SBSK are willing to do, we are committed to refraining from passing judgement on any person, as that is for the all-wise Lord to do at the proper time which He will choose. We are all in process. 

And these short video stories illustrate the value of people of disabilities who are also in process.

To access:

Special Books by Special Kids

From the Ministry of St. Elizabeth Convent in Belarus

To access website:

Ministry of St.Elisabeth Convent: Children with special needs make icons of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco

Children from the boarding school for children with special needs and the convent’s studio “Anyolak” prepared an exhibition of drawings “A gift to St. John” devoted to the feast day of St. John of Shanghai San Francisco.  

From The Catalog of Good Deeds posted by Nun Elena (Strashinova) July, 2017 St. Elisabeth Convent




The Worthwhile Lives of Persons with a Disability (disabilities)

The website:


Live On!

This is a disability website celebrating life. Even with all the challenges people with disabilities face. A happy, fulfilling, . . . . incredible life. 

No matter what some narrow-minded people in our society think.

The creators of this web page, who are disabled themselves, are up front about the more difficult challenges: the bullying of young people, the institutionalization of adults. Their goal is to reach those who are discouraged, despondent, even despairing, and those with suicidal thoughts through a series of short, powerful videos in which persons with a disabilities overcome their obstacles and establish a meaningful life. Valuable resources are also provided toward this goal.

A photographer of note:

River Bend Galleries


Pertinent posts from the Not Dead Yet website: 
Disabililty Rights Organizations Issue Statement Opposing Assisted Suicide Laws and Supporting Health Care
Statement of Solidarity in Observance of Suicide Prevention Month
Disability Rights Toolkit for Advocacy Against the Legalization of Assisted Suicide


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