ADVOCACY

Resources for advocating for your child in school, with a particular focus on IEPs.

“I GUESS I’M AN ACTIVIST. I THINK IT’S JUST CARING.”

— Clara Clow

22 Advocacy Blog

a portion of the Nicene Creed in latin22 Advocacy

Inclusive Hymns, Exclusive Language

(This post is related to this earlier one.) I've been thinking about theological/liturgical language a fair bit over the past few days. This past sunday, one of the hymns our church sang was "Be Thou My Vision." It's a hymn that I've liked for a…
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January 7, 2020
grey-toned abstract art22 AdvocacyPapers & Presentations

the start of 2020

I wasn't nearly as regular posting last year as I would have liked. I'm hoping to do better in the coming year. January is going to start off the year with a fair number of speaking engagements. My primary work responsibility is a three-week intensive…
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January 5, 2020
a photograph of a slumped over individual alone in the pews of a church22 AdvocacyTalks & Lectures

God’s Kingdom without Autism

Today, I want to talk about how our culture and communities—and specifically the Christian community known as the Church—are problematic with respect to how we treat disabled people. Just as the Church is sometimes unwelcoming of people that are different than us in other ways,…
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October 3, 2019
22 Advocacy

You want me to sing what?

This past weekend my family was on the road with . me, as I had a number of speaking engagements in another state. We visited a church near where we were staying. During the Sunday morning service, the congregation sang "O for a Thousand Tongues…
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October 1, 2019
photo of Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Waco, TX22 Advocacy

A church that listens, learns, and acts

I've been critical, both in my book and on social media, of churches that marginalize, stigmatize, or ignore those with disabilities. I think that's appropriate as a way of calling the Church to be better.But it's also appropriate to celebrate churches that get things right.…
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July 13, 2019
chalk outline of a body on the street with the words 'Am I next?'22 Advocacy

One danger of being disabled in public

According to a recent news story, Kenneth French, a 32 year-old non-verbal man with an intellectual disability, was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer while at Costco. There are a lot of details that we don't yet know about the incident, but the…
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June 17, 2019
photograph of a Roberto Fanari sculture; four seating human figures made of wire22 Advocacy

My book in 37 seconds

Here's the first of a number of short videos that I did with Calvin Press about Disability and Inclusive Communities. "...incomplete without them..." Part of Christianity is the commitment to reach out to those and to love those who have been marginalized, ostracized, who aren't…
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May 30, 2019
black and white photograph of a 1950s prom; everyone in the photo is white22 Advocacy

On ‘special needs proms’

A few months back, when asked by the staff of the high school what I hoped for in his high school experience, I told them: "I want Jameson to finish his senior year having gone to prom. And not one of those Tim Tebow night…
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May 29, 2019
abstract painting from the cover of "The Disabled God"22 AdvocacyPapers & Presentations

2019 SITD

Tomorrow starts the 2019 Summer Institute of Theology and Disability. Last year was the first SITD I went to, in North Carolina, and it was a great experience. This one is closer to home over in Holland, MI. The full program for this week can…
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May 19, 2019
Erik Carter's categories of belonging22 Advocacy

A Practical Guide for Congregations

Today was the last day of the theology and disability course I've been teaching this semester at Calvin Seminary. (I know I'm behind in my posting on Clifton's book, which my students and I walked through. We finished the book, but I've been swamped and…
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May 6, 2019
green thumbs up saying Do, red thumbs down saying don't22 Advocacy

Dos and Don’ts

A friend of mine who's a pastor is going to preach, as part of a larger sermon series, on what it looks like to minister with (his emphasis, which I appreciate) and welcome those with disabilities into our churches, homes, and communities. Below is an…
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April 30, 2019
22 Advocacy

Bonhoeffer, Community, and Disability

I'm teaching a course this semester on the theology of disability. We just wrapped up the part of the course where we look at historical figures (our primary text here was this wonderful collection). Yesterday we discussed the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I did an…
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March 12, 2019
22 Advocacy

The Demands of Time

One of the things I talk about in Disability and Inclusive Communities is the demands on time that can come from disability: Another way that our communities are not welcoming to those with disabilities is time. This is particularly true given the frantic pace that…
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March 5, 2019