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Empowering Communities for Inclusion
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Information about the efforts of cities, towns, communities of faith, and other community organizations to be more inclusive of individuals with disabilities.

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Managed by: Nancy Sullivan (Nancy.writes@sbcglobal.net) of Empowerment Network Unlimited, Inc.

Product Categories
Books, Publications & Reports (printed and/or online) (55 Products)
Electronic Media (25 Products)
Organizations, Programs, and Projects (28 Products)
People Who Can Help (4 Products)

Books, Publications & Reports (printed and/or online)
A Part or Apart? Disability and Inclusion in the Faith Community
This photo essay shows people with disabilities being included in their faith communities. There are also written stories about disability and inclusion, and a discussion guide to help everyone talk about what they see.
AAPD Employment Opportunities Awareness flyers
These two flyers encourage members of faith communities to help people with disabilities find jobs. They are meant to be used as bulletin inserts.
ABCD in Action: When People Care Enough to Act
This book and DVD suggest a step-by-step way to build partnerships. These partnerships help people with disabilities become more involved in their communities.
Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability, and Inclusion
This book tells sixty-four stories about how faith communities have become inclusive of people with disabilities. The stories cover many different religious traditions and disability types.
Autism and Faith: A Journey into Community
This booklet is about including children and adults with autism in faith communities. It contains real life stories and short articles written by family members, theologians, pastors, rabbis, people with autism, and professionals.
Autism and Your Church: Nurturing the Spiritual Growth of People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (revised & updated in 2011)
This book helps churches welcome people with Autism Spectrum Disorder into the full life of their congregations.
Beginning and Strengthening Inclusive Ministries and Congregations
This resource list is about helping people with disabilities get involved in faith communities. It is free online.
Beyond Accessibility: Toward Full Inclusion of People with Disabilities
This book is about full inclusion of people with disabilities into faith communities.
Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets
This guide summarizes lessons learned in successful community-building initiatives across the United States.
Connecting People: The steps to making it happen
This report is about helping people with disabilities to meet and get to know other people in their community. There is also a video on YouTube.
Conversations about inclusive & sustainable communities: Six practices for creative engagement
This booklet is about helping communities to work together. It is written by people who are experts on Person-Centered planning.
Conversations about Sustainable & Inclusive Communities: An Invitation
This report explains how community conversations can be used to start the process of making a community more inclusive of older people and people with disabilities. It can be downloaded as a PDF file.
Critical Issues in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Contemporary Research, Practice, and Policy
This manual explores emerging issues in the fields of intellectual and developmental disabilities in ten areas.
Crossing the River: Creating a conceptual revolution in community & disability
This classic book discusses real community integration and belonging for individuals with disabilities.
Disability and Rural Communities: Making a Difference in Small Towns
This training tells how people with disabilities living in rural communities can obtain or even create services, as well as be included in their communities. It is available as a PDF file as a training guide or as a webinar.
Disability Awareness - Do It Right!
This book has tips, techniques and handouts for a successful Disability Awareness Day. It was written by disability activists.
Disability: A Diversity Model Approach in Human Service Practice, Third Edition
This book introduces a practice model that emphasizes the strengths of people with disabilities, and the barriers that society puts in their way. It is written at a challenging reading level.
Discovering Trinity in Disability: A Theology for Embracing Difference
This book uses Christian teachings to argue that churches must be inclusive. Its authors are biblical scholars who are also parents of two daughters who have significant disabilities.
Enhancing Belonging: A Guidebook for Individuals, Organizations, and Communities
This guidebook is about how to support belonging and inclusion in communities. You can download it as a PDF.
Friends: Connecting people with disabilities and community members
This manual has many ideas to help people with disabilities increase community membership and friendships. There are also many activities for staff training.
Friendships and Community Connections between People with and without Developmental Disabilities
A book about promoting friendships with community members and full community inclusion
Impact: Feature Issue on Faith Communities and Persons with Developmental Disabilities
A collection of articles that introduce key issues, provide examples of exemplary programs, share personal stories, and provide resources for persons interested in building inclusive fath communities
Impact: Feature Issue on Social Inclusion Through Recreation for Persons with Disabilities
This issue of the Impact newsletter is about ways to increase the social inclusion of people with disabilities through recreation. Though some information may be dated, you can still download the full text as a PDF for free.
Impact: Feature Issue on Volunteerism by Persons with Developmental Disabilities
This newsletter is about ways to include people with disabilities in volunteerism. Though some information is dated, you can still download it for free as a PDF file.
In Community- Practical lessons in supporting isolated people to be part of community
This book explains how to help people with disabilities who are left out to become active members of their communities. It has stories and ideas from all over the world.
Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities: A Guide for Service Providers, Families, and Congregations
This book has guides to help people with developmental disabilities be part of the faith community of their choice. It also helps congregations be more welcoming and creative, and teaches support staff how to pay attention to people's spiritual needs.
Inclusion Handbook: Everybody Belongs, Everybody Serves
This booklet helps church leaders in welcoming people with disabilities to worship.
Inclusion Works For All
This fact sheet advocates for the inclusion of people with disabilities in all areas of community life. You can download it as a PDF.
Inclusive Communities = Stronger Communities: Global Report on Article 19: The Right to Live and Be Included in the Community
A report on how well people with intellectual disabilities and their families are being included in the community. It is based on ideas from countries around the world.
Intellectual Disability: Definition, Classification, and Systems of Supports (11th Edition)
This book is the most recent classification and diagnosis system for persons with intellectual disability.
Jewish Community Guide to the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
This guide helps faith communities provide a supportive and inclusive environment for people with disabilities.
Key Resources for Creating and Building Partnerships between Provider Agencies and Religious Organizations/Congregations to Address Spiritual Supports for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their Families.
This list has books, reports, websites, videos and more. All support the inclusion of people with disabilities in faith communities.
Making It Work: Good Practices for Inclusive Development
This document has tools and guidelines for countries around the world that lead to the full inclusion of people with disabilities.
Manners that Matter
This is a brief etiquette guide for interacting with people who have disabilities.
On the Road to Congregational Inclusion: Dimensions of Faith and Congregational Ministries with Persons with Developmental Disabilities and Their Families
This guide has many resources helpful to clergy, laypersons, families and service providers.
One Candle Power: Building Bridges into Community Life for People with Disabilities
This book explains how to organize circles of support. It shows how they can change the lives of people with disabilities.
Participation and Contribution through Work, Study and Valued Roles
This booklet has ideas for people with disabilities to get more involved in their communities. The ideas are about them taking on "valued social roles."
Pathfinders: People with Developmental Disabilities & Their Allies Building Communities That Work Better for Everybody
This book uses stories to show many ways that people with disabilities can be supported to be self-directing and socially included members of their communities.
Providing Practical Support for People with Autism Disorder
This book explains the needs of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and the best ways to provide support.
Receiving the Gift of Friendship: Profound Disability, Theological Anthropology, and Ethics
This book challenges the way people think about intellectual disability. It does this to promote community inclusion and belonging for people with significant disabilities.
Removing Barriers: Planning Meetings That Are Accessible To All Participants
This guide helps organizations make their meetings accessible and welcoming to people with disabilities. It can be downloaded as a PDF file.
Sharing Community: Strategies, Tips and Lessons Learned From Experiences of Community Building at Options
Through photos and stories, this handbook has twenty tips and lessons for helping people with developmental disabilities to have community membership
Spirituality and Hospitality: What the Church Can Learn by Welcoming Persons with Disabilities
This paper talks about what the Reformed Church of America would gain by welcoming people with disabilities.
Students with Asperger Syndrome: A Guide for College Personnel
This book helps college faculty and staff support students who have Asperger syndrome.
The Art of Welcoming Booklet
This booklet explains how to welcome new individuals to a group.
The Careless Society: Community and Its Counterfeits
A book about full community inclusion, and the strength of communities to solve problems and help people.
The Common Thread
A collection of stories about friendship and community building. You can read it online.
The Community Place
A book about the experiences developing The Community Place in Manchester, Connecticut -- a community gathering place that became much more.
The Disability Factor: Five Simple Tools to Better Serve and Counsel People With Disabilities
This is a book for business owners and store clerks about assisting people with disabilities as customers.
The Essence of Interdependence: Building community for everyone
This book explores how typical people come to know people with disabilities living in the community. It is a manual for promoting inclusive communities.
The PATH & MAPS Handbook: Person-Centered Ways to Build Community
This handbook makes PATH and MAPS stronger by connecting them to the work of community building.
Transition to Retirement: A Guide to Inclusive Practice
This manual and DVD explain how to help people gradually build an active and socially inclusive retirement lifestyle.
Video Clips on Social Inclusion
These five YouTube video clips explain the meaning of social inclusion, and why it is important for everyone. Each is less than 3 minutes long.
Waddie Welcome and the Beloved Community
This is the story of a remarkable man and the people who surrounded him to make their whole community stronger. It is a life lesson in community building from people who became masterful by doing it.
Who Cares? Rediscovering Community
This is an inspiring book by David Schwartz, an original thinker about fully caring and inclusive communities. This book talks about both formal and informal ways to rediscover a sense of lost community.
Electronic Media (Videos, CDs, T.V., Radio, Websites, etc.)
A Place for All: Faith and Community for Persons with Disabilities
This film is about making faith communities accessible to persons with disabilities.
ABCD in Action: When People Care Enough to Act
This book and DVD suggest a step-by-step way to build partnerships. These partnerships help people with disabilities become more involved in their communities.
About Disability: A Resource for the Disability Community
This topical website offers a number of links to articles written about technology, disability culture, and health. It also has several documents that refer to historic disability issues.
Asking for Help - Haddayr Copley-Woods
This is a short radio interview of a woman with MS. She talks about what it is like to have complete strangers insist on giving her help even when she does not want it. She also talks about her difficulty with asking for help when she needs it.
Autism Vision
This video helps the classmates of children with autism understand their disability. It is meant for children ages 8 to 11.
Building Inclusive and Sustainable Communities: Citizenship for all (NING Social Website)
An online community with discussion about how to make communities more inclusive for people with disabilities.
Citizen-Centered Leadership Development
This online class is about helping people with disabilities become full citizens of the communities where they live.
Coming Together Newsletter
This newsletter had news stories and other information to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the community. Though it hasn't been published since 2014, most of the ideas are timeless.
Creating Room In God's House
This short video is about people with disabilities being welcomed in faith communities. It aired on PBS.
Disabilities and Faith.org
This website offers many ideas to help houses of faith become more accessible and inclusive.
Disability and Rural Communities: Making a Difference in Small Towns
This training tells how people with disabilities living in rural communities can obtain or even create services, as well as be included in their communities. It is available as a PDF file as a training guide or as a webinar.
Disability Equality Index
This tool can be used by businesses to rate their success in including people with disabilities, both as customers and as employees.
Faith Communities and Disabilities
In July 2009, PBS aired a short segment about the full inclusion of people with disabilities in religious communities. You can watch it online and leave comments.
Getting It Right
This DVD teaches how to interact and relate to people with disabilities. It is meant to challenge attitudes and change behavior.
Inclusion Network Website
A website with a lot of information about community inclusion and people with disabilities.
Inclusion Revolution
This Nova Scotia television show has interviews with experts and presents the latest news on topics related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities. You can watch past episodes on YouTube.
Karin Melberg Schwier Website
A site featuring Karin Melberg Schwier. Karin is the parent of a person with an intellectual disability, an author, a blogger and more.
These two videos introduce teenagers to people with disabilities. They highlight how much teens with and without disabilities have in common, and show how people with disabilities use assistive technology.
See it! Say it! Sign it!: Using American Sign Language in Worship
This short video shows how three churches are learning to use American Sign Language as part of their worship.
Strategies for Developing and Sustaining Partnerships with Underrepresented Communities
This webinar is about creating relationships with underrepresented communities, including people with disabilities. A recording and the slides are available to view online for free.
The Arc PSA - Respect
This TV commercial shows the importance of dignity and respect for people with intellectual disabilities. There is a link to watch it on YouTube.
Think Inclusive
This website promotes the full inclusion of people with disabilities in their school and communities. It does so by sharing videos, podcasts, and articles to show what is working.
Values of Inclusion
In this online video, a person explains what it means to be a truly inclusive community.
Voices Beyond the Mirror
These ten short videos share the lives people with disabilities. There is also a Centerpiece video that brings all of the voices together. They are great for building awareness.
Weaving the Ties that Bind: Personal Network Facilitation
This on-line course teaches how to build and facilitate social networks for people who are socially isolated.
Organizations, Programs, and Projects
Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD Institute)
This University-based Institute provides practical resources and tools for community builders. It shares the ideas of John L. McKnight and John Kretzmann.
Center for Disability Information and Referral
This Center is a primary source of quality information on disability for residents of Indiana.
Citizen-Centered Leadership Development
This online class is about helping people with disabilities become full citizens of the communities where they live.
Collaborative on Faith and Disability
This Collaborative brings together many researchers and others interested in supporting inclusive faith communities. Their website has many free, downloadable resources.
CommunityWorks: PATH and Creative Facilitation Training
An organization that teaches people the best ways to do person-centered planning. They are especially interested in community-building.
Fanlight Productions
This organization is a leading distributor of new film and video works on the social issues of our time. They have many films on people with disabilities.
Inclusion Press
This group has many books and DVDs to help people learn about topics like person-centered planning and social inclusion.
Involving All Neighbors
A seminal program that helped Seattle neighborhoods to involve citizens with developmental disabilities in local projects. Though no longer active, the program left an interesting archive.
Minnesota Survey of Attitudes 1962/2007
In 1964, Minnesota completed a survey of the public on community attitudes about people with developmental disabilities. In 2007, the same survey was repeated. This report tells how community attitudes changed, and how they stayed the same over 43 years.
National Catholic Partnership on Disability
This agency works for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the Catholic church and in society.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month Website
This website has many ideas to plan events during this very important month.
National Inclusion Project
This project promotes inclusion for individuals with disabilities, with a focus on children. The project runs the "Let's All Play" initiative that helps programs become more inclusive.
National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP)
This program provides training, technical assistance and products for service programs which include people with disabilities.
New York State Inclusive Recreation Resource Center
This university center helps people with disabilities find leisure activities. It also helps recreation agencies to make their programs accessible to everyone. It is located and works mostly in the state of New York.
Pathways to Independence Natural Supports project
A program that finds and shares natural ways that youth with disabilities can be fully included in school, work and community life.
PLAN Institute for Caring Citizenship
This institute develops and shares strategies to assure vulnerable people have access to networks of natural support. It works throughout Canada and around the world.
Real Communities
This program supports grassroots efforts at inclusion in the state of Georgia.
Rejoicing Spirits Ministry
This organization helps churches become more inclusive of people with disabilities.
Religion and Spirituality Division of the AAIDD
A group for religous and spiritual leaders that journey with persons who have developmental disabilities and their family members.
Social Development Partnerships Program-Disability Component
This Canadian government initiative supports full inclusion of people with disabilities.
TASH is a professional organization that advocates for the full rights of people with disabilities.
Tennessee Disability Coalition
This alliance of advocacy organizations promotes the full and equal participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of life.
The "Start with Hi" campaign
This program encourages everyone to "Start With Hi" when meeting a person with disabilities. It is meant to help everyone feel safe and included in communities.
The Center for Person Centered Practices
This agency helps organizations become more "Person-centered." It works in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The Inclusion Institutes
These institutes work to make education more inclusive. One focuses on students with communication challenges, another on people with intellectual disabilities who want to go to college, and the third on elementary school students with special challenges.
The Inclusion Network Toronto Summer Institute
This annual conference is held in Toronto. It provides classes, seminars and activities about community inclusion and person-centered planning.
The Karen Gaffney Foundation
The Karen Gaffney Foundation works toward the full inclusion of people with disabilities. It offers many programs in Portland, Oregon, and is led by a woman with Down syndrome.
Yachad, National Jewish Council for Disabilities
This program believes in full inclusion of Jewish people with disabilities in community life. It provides services to people of all ages.
People Who Can Help
Al Etmanski
Al Etmanski is the President of A Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, committed to meaningful and good lives for people with disabilities. He assists individuals and families in life-long planning including estate planning, guardianship alternatives,...
Angela Amado
Angela Amado has conducted training throughout the U.S., Canada, and also in the Netherlands and Israel on person-centered planning, friendships between people with and without developmental disabilities, community building, self-determination, and per...
Mike Green
Mike works from a citizen-centered perspective with local people at the center. The focus is on two organizing questions: organizing local citizens and their allies to mobilize their local resources to work together to solve problems, and how agencies ...
Shri Rao
Dr. Rao is currently a faculty member at the Department of Special Education, Language and Literacy at The College of New Jersey. Her areas of interest are inclusive education, positive behavioral supports and working with culturally diverse families....

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