Join us for the encore episode of Season 1 as Ellen Stumbo talks about the slogan, “Nothing About Us Without Us,” or how people with disabilities need to be included when planning programs or ministries for the disabled. Guest Tonia Christle joins us briefly as she talks about “Nothing About Us Without Us,” from the perspective of an adult with a disability.
From the show:
Ellen Stumbo shares how a few months ago, when sharing about Disability Matters, her friend – who is disabled – used the slogan, “Nothing About Us Without Us.” Tonia shared that in any ministry or effort to reach the disability community, it was important to include people with disabilities in the process, as they are the experts on disability.
When dreaming about a disability ministry, the most important aspect is to ask questions of those we hope to serve, and then listen to what they say. And not only listen, but take to heart what we hear, and put it into action.
When reaching out to families impacted by disability, go to the families directly, how can their children be best serves and supported in Sunday School or the Children’s program?
When reaching out to adults with disabilities, ask them directly.
In the show Ellen mentions a warning when working with adults with intellectual disabilities. There is a tendency of treating adults with ID as children, “They are 30, but developmentally they are like a 7 year old.” While it is easy to understand why people explain it that way, a 30 year old, even an adult with an intellectual disability, has lived for 30 years and has had adult experiences in their life. Adults with intellectual disabilities are not large children, they are adults, and therefore it is important that we approach them and treat them like adults. Will there be adaptations and modification? Most likely! But an adult is an adult, no matter what their intellectual capacity is.
Quotes from the show:
- Disabled people should be included in decisions regarding disability.
- Don’t assume that you know, go find someone who is disabled and ask us.
- We might want to be served in the ministry, but we might want to help too.
- In general, we are not looked upon as people who can contribute.
- We should be able to help if we want to.
- Be open to our ideas, don’t assume we don’t know. Your idea might not be what we need.
- I wanted to go pray for people, but I felt like I couldn’t because as soon as I came forward to pray for others, people prayed for me. (Regarding disabled adults serving in the church).
- My role should be to ask questions and not jump into conclusions without having a background, without listening, and without understanding people’s experiences.
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Listen to the show:
Latest posts by Ellen Stumbo (see all)
- How to Interact with Kids with Disabilties - January 2, 2017
- Episode 17: Disability Ministry Is Not An Elective - November 3, 2016
- Episode 16: Small Churches Can Do Disability Ministry Too [Podcast] - October 27, 2016