Interfaith Disabilities Network of Oregon activates the resources of faith communities to welcome, celebrate, and include the contributions of every person with a disability.
What brings Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, and representatives of other religions together? In the case of the Interfaith Disabilities Network of Oregon (IDNO), it’s their common concern for people with disabilities being included and welcomed within their spiritual communities.
Actually, IDNO is more than representatives from those religions; it’s an entire group of concerned individuals from various traditions who hope to do three things:
- Help people with disabilities find a more enthusiastic welcome in whichever religious community they wish to associate with
- Educate religious communities on how to recognize the gifts of people with disabilities
- How to help create a more enthusiastic welcome to people with disabilities.
Among the millions of people who have disabilities many have spiritual needs that are not being met. In many instances they cannot physically get into the front door of their church, synagogue, temple, mosque, or meeting house. Or when they are able, they may still face barriers of attitude, communication, programming, or many other architectural barriers.
IDNO does not necessarily suggest that people with special needs have been ignored or not invited into religious circles, but the welcome mat is often tentative since well-meaning congregants and their leaders just don’t know how to include those with physical, developmental or mental health issues. In short, more can be done so that people with disabilities can experience a true sense of belonging, participating, and contributing more fully in the life of the community.
IDNO is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization serving people with disabilities and their families, denominational groups, individual congregations, as well as a wide variety of support professionals and allied service agencies.
Our website contains information regarding useful resources, upcoming events of interest, connections to local support networks, and links to other allied organizations. If you have questions about our organization, suggestions about additional resources we may want to offer, or have an interest in becoming a member, please e-mail us at InterfaithDisabilitiesofOregon@gmail.com.