In January, the National Collaborative on Faith and Disability will launch the new webinar series: Honoring Spiritual Needs and Gifts: From Inertia to Collaborative Action by Providers and Congregations. The series will run monthly, from January-June (excluding May), and will be free and available for viewing via Adobe Connect.

The first webinar, “Including Spirituality in Assessment, Evaluation, and Person-Centered Planning Processes” takes place on Monday, January 26, and includes presentations by:

  • Erik Carter, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Special Education, Vanderbilt University; Investigator, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (TN UCEDD, IDDRC, LEND)
  • Catherine Patterson, Faith Based Initiative Coordinator, Office for People with Developmental Disabilities
  • Lida Merrill, M.Th., Director of Spiritual Life, Heritage Christian Services
  • Rick Benjamin, M.A., Director of Organizational and Spiritual Wellness, Hope Community Services

Additional Webinar Series dates and topics include:

  • February 23, 2015: Creative strategies by provider and service organizations in addressing spiritual needs and choices
  • March 30, 2015: Congregational strategies for reaching out to agencies and working with them to identify and honor spiritual supports and enable inclusion and ongoing participation
  • April 27, 2015: Strategies for congregations to use in building awareness and commitment within congregations
  • June 29, 2015: Best practices and resources for moving from inclusion to belonging as contributing, valued members of faith communities

Webinars take place on Mondays at 1:00 p.m. (CST) and will be archived on the Collaborative website for later viewing.

Registration is required. For more information on each webinar or to register, visit: Instructions for logging in through Adobe Connect will be sent via confirmation e-mail after registration is completed.

The National Collaborative on Faith and Disability ( supports people with disabilities, their families, and those who support them by providing national and international leadership in the areas of research, education, service, and dissemination related to disability, religion, and inclusive supports. It is a network of 12 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities with core funding administered by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD).

For more information on the Collaborative on Faith and Disability, contact Courtney Taylor at