Self-Advocacy: how to thrive with a disability at church

In the eyes of the world, I am weak. I have a physical disability that is very visible. I use a wheelchair outside of my house and I need hands-on help every day. These exact weaknesses make me strong. These limits teach me how to advocate.

Self-advocacy is about more than feeling like you’re doing just enough. It’s about finding the best way to THRIVE with your limits.

Recently I spoke at a conference with the Faith Inclusion Network. In this video, I share my story and journey of learning to advocate in deeper ways as an adult. We explore 3 different elements of self-advocacy and I answer these questions:

  1. What does self-advocacy mean? And what does it look like?
  2. With the abilities God has given me, what can I do? Where can I serve (in my church)?
  3. How can I advocate and take action right now?

Much of my story is connected to the Church — the people I meet within the walls, how I am included, and the way community grows beyond the building. The church should be the place where we see inclusion done well. This is where inclusion begins. It extends outside the worship service as we learn to bridge the gap and love each other as whole people.

*******

I say more on the video. Listen when you have time. Next week continues the “This is how I…” series.

What does self-advocacy mean to you? How does it look in your story?