Representatives of a nationally widespread social ministry were surveyed to determine if such an effort had an impact on the social inclusion of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). All the 730 contacts for the BeFriender Ministry program in 25 U.S. states were sent surveys. The intention was to gather information about congregation members' perspectives on social inclusion of individuals with disabilities and to identify barriers. The personal, relational nature of the BeFriender Ministry resulted in some significant emotional ties between the BeFrienders and the individuals with I/DD, with many benefits reported that reflected loving attitudes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was funded in part by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Grant No. H133B080005. Portions of this article are taken from a longer report by the same authors titled: Impact of Two National Congregational Programs on the Social Inclusion of Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (available at: http:/rtc.umn.edu/docs/CongregationalInclusion.pdf) Address correspondence to Angela Novak Amado, Research Associate, Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota, 204 Pattee Hall, Minneapolis, MN 55116, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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- social ministry