Welcome to the Religion and Spirituality Division of the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, where we work to foster opportunities for spiritual growth for person with disabilities.

Religion and Spirituality Division of the AAIDD Logo

Message from the President: Shelly Christensen, September 2014


I’m Shelly Christensen, the new President of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Religion and Spirituality (R & S) Division. I have worked in the spiritual supports field for over 13 years directing the Jewish Community Inclusion Program for People with Disabilities at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis. In May I left JFCS to focus on my work in other communities. As we all know, there is much to do to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities so they may contribute to their own faith communities and share their gifts with others.

Minutes from the 2014 Religion and Spirituality Division Forum

Minutes AAIDD Religion and Spirituality Division, June 24, 2014, at the AAIDD National Conference


Anne Masters, Deborah Huggins, Bill Gaventa, Tom VanWingerden, Neil Cudney, David Morstad, Sr. Gabrielle Kowalski, Deborah Fisher, Shelly Christensen.

Consent Agenda

The consent agenda which was emailed to the Religion and Spirituality Division members prior to this business meeting was approved unanimously by all in attendance.


Neil Cudney elected Vice President to serve for 2 years, and then become President in 2016.

2014 AAIDD Religion and Spirituality Division Forum

You can participate live in the 2014 AAIDD Religion and Spirituality Division Forum through the video below!

Tune in from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM on Thursday, June 26th 2014. More information about the business meeting is available here.

Message from the President: Anne Masters, June 2014 Pre-Conference Edition!

Dear Friends,

This will be the last newsletter before the annual meeting in Orlando, FL June 23-26 and it is focused on preparation for it. It is also my last letter as president of the division. It has been an honor to serve you in this capacity.

Message from the President: Anne Masters, April 2014

I hope this newsletter finds you well.

This year’s annual meeting in Orlando, FL June 23-26 will be another excellent opportunity for learning, sharing and networking. Check out all the great sessions planned. Below is list of division activities:

  • Division business meeting will be during lunch on Tuesday June 24th. You may purchase lunch within conference registration.

An Embarrassment of Riches! Key Ministry Website and Related Resources Review

Another web-based resource in the area of disability ministry services has been brought to my attention and I felt our “Gleanings Family” would enjoy knowing more about it. Bill Gaventa and I would also like to encourage any readers who have found resources that they would like to write about or refer to me (Don Healy DE-Healy@wiu.edu) for purposes of review to contact us anytime.

Speaking of Journals

Did you take time to look at the latest copy of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (December, 2013)? Jim Thompson’s Presidential Address is in that issue, and can also be found at the AAIDD website. It is an excellent overview of the past history of the field and key issues and goals for AAIDD. If you want to introduce someone to AAIDD, that is a good resource to share.

Message from the President: Anne Masters, February 2014

Dear Friends,
I hope this newsletter finds you well and warm!

Using a Vertical Integration Model to Ensure the Provision of Faith Based Opportunities for Persons with Special Needs and Talents

Since there may be new members (hopefully!) who are reading my product review column for the first time I’ll quickly reintroduce myself. My name is Don Healy. I’m a retired special education faculty member of Western Illinois University Quad Cities (Moline, Illinois). One of my volunteer activities for this organization is in the area of product reviews. You can read my previous reviews as well once you have accessed this newsletter. If you have something you would like me to review, please contact me at DE-Healy@wiu.edu.

Message from the President, October 2013

I hope this newsletter finds you well as we prepare for the upcoming seasons of Thanksgiving and celebrations of God in our lives. There is much going on in the division and many ways for you to participate!

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