Building Disability Inclusion Together: How to Increase Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion in Your Faith Community

Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Time: 2 p.m. Eastern Time/11 a.m. Pacific Time
Duration: 60 minutes

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The intersection of spirituality and disability has given rise to a variety of initiatives and programs across faith traditions. All of these elevate the importance of faith in the lives of many disabled people and those who love them. Shelly Christensen, Rev. Ben Bond, and Rev. Bill Gaventa will discuss why sacred communities need to raise awareness to create a culture of belonging. The presenters will talk about their experiences creating grassroots faith and disability initiatives, offer tools and resources, and provide wisdom from different sacred traditions and communities.


Shelly Christensen, MA FAAIDD, is RespectAbility’s Senior Director of Faith Inclusion and Belonging and co-founder of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). Shelly will share how JDAIM, recognized in February, has unified the global Jewish community to amplify the voices of people with disabilities and mental health conditions.

Reverend Bill Gaventa is a Board Member at RespectAbility, and the founder of the Institute on Theology and Disability. Bill will talk about the need for multifaith theological study.

Reverend Ben Bond is the Faith Inclusion and Belonging Associate at RespectAbility, and a founding member of the Disciples of Christ Disability Justice task force.