Persistent obstacles prevent persons with disabilities from participation in community life, including church activities. This article presents the findings of a descriptive case study, documenting the perceptions of three distinct participant groups concerning barriers and facilitators to participation in their Christian congregation. From a systems perspective, the findings verified that factors in their congregation’s environment hinder, rather than enable, the participation of persons with disabilities. Necessary shifts in the conceptualization of disability that sustain exclusion, and the need to promote belonging and participation in the congregation, were indicated.
This article is based on a Master’s research study conducted by the first author, with the second author as supervisor.