Seeks stories of communion - Catholic Courier

Seeks stories of communion

To the editor:

My name is Don Healy. I am a professor of Special Education at Western Illinois University Quad Cities as well as a member of the Religion and Spirituality Division of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. It was formerly called the American Association on Mental Retardation and is the nation’s oldest organization devoted to helping persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, founded in 1877. This division’s journal, called the Journal of Religion, Disability, and Health,is “seeking articles that relate specifically to the experience of communion with persons with disabilities. The main focus of the issue will be on stories and examples of the power of inclusive experience of communion. Families, people with intellectual disabilities, and those who live and work for and with people with intellectual disabilities are invited to submit vignettes and articles” (Division Fall 2006 Newsletter, p. 8).

I am inviting all readers of this (letter) to submit your stories to me for inclusion in a research article I will be submitting on this topic. Although the focus is on the communion experience, I am also interested in anything else you might want to share with me about church activities that include persons with special needs. Your collective insights on what I have personally found to be a very powerful experience are very important, whether they are quoted directly or discussed in more general terms.

If you choose to identify yourself as a person with any type of disability, I will need to make a follow-up contact to you to obtain what is termed an Informed Consent form. This is to comply with our University’s policies on respecting the rights of persons with disabilities to be fully informed about what they are being asked to share with researchers like myself prior to publishing anything. If you are a person with special needs there is NO obligation to self-identify. I am interested in any and all stories people wish to share with me!

If you would like to share your stories with me, get more information about the project before becoming involved, or just to say hello I can be reached at the following points of contact. You can share with me by email, U.S. mail, telephone, or in person. Thanks you.

Don Healy

WIU Quad Cities

3561 60th Street

Moline, Illinois 61265

309-762-3999 ext. 270

Fax: 309-762-6989


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