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.

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Message from the President: Anne Masters, February 2014

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

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.

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!

Message from the President, August 2013

Dear Friends,

I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying some summer moments. This newsletter will focus on highlights of the annual conference. As always, it was a great combination of learning, networking, rich discussion and fellowship. Dinner was fantastic and wonderful fun!

Next year’s annual conference will be June 23 - 26 in Orlando FL, a very fun place to be! I hope you can make it.

AAIDD Religion and Spirituality Division Business Meeting Notes June 6, 2013


  • Anne Masters, President
  • Don Healy, Recording Secretary and Treasurer
  • Sister Gabrielle Kowalski, Cardinal Strich University
  • Kimberly Bane, California Baptist University
  • David Morstad, Bethesda Institute
  • Shelly Christensen, Vice President
  • Tom Boehm, Vanderbilt University
  • Neil Cudney, Director Pastoral Ministries at Christian Horizons
  • Bill Gaventa (by telephone)

The meeting opened at 8:08 am with an opening prayer by Shelly.

Finance Report

AAIDD Religion and Spirituality Division Spirituality and Congregational Participation Action Plan Feedback


There is strong interest in the division to affirm and facilitate support of spirituality and congregational participation for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The consensus is that a key area of need is facilitating conversation with service providers to include spirituality and congregational participation supports in individual support plans.

Religion and Spirituality Resources Available

Friends and Colleagues,

I am in the process of culling resources, or, as realtors say it these days, "editing" one's home and belongings. Over the years, I have been given extra copies of books or magazine issues that were going out of print, and a video. These are dated resources but still good. If you want some for your own collection or to give out to people in trainings, here is what I have:

Message from the President, May 2013 (Conference Edition)

Dear Friends,

The AAIDD annual meeting is almost upon us, June 3 - 6 in Pittsburgh PA. Register today if you haven't already.

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