A symposium presented by Bill Gaventa, M.Div.
Wednesday March 17th 2021 from 3 to 4:30 pm online
This seminar will be on Zoom and will have live captioning and ASL interpretation.
For questions about the event, or about other forms of access, please contact
Summary: In the world of services and supports with people with intellectual disabilities, spirituality is a dimension of human life often overlooked. Assumptions about faith and belief, as well as a long history of exclusion from faith communities, are some of the reasons. In the world of spirituality and faith, disability is often overlooked, in both theory and practice. Thus the question is how to repair that breach in understandings of disability, a step that is crucial if we are to see and understand people with disabilities as whole human beings created in the image of God and part of God’s people.
Bio: Bill Gaventa is the founder of the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability (now Director emeritus) and the Coordinator of the Collaborative on Faith and Disability, linking a number of University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities who are addressing spirituality through initiatives in training, technical assistance, research, and/or dissemination. He was formerly Director of Community and Congregational Supports at the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities in New Jersey. Bill’s primary areas of experience and expertise are spiritual and faith-based supports with people with disabilities, training for clergy, seminarians and community services staff, aging and end of life/grief issues in intellectual and developmental disabilities, cultural competence, and community building. He served as the President of American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for 2016-2017.
As a writer and editor, he has edited newsletters and several books, written articles and chapters, and served as the Editor of the Journal of Religion, Disability and Health for 14 years, now as an Associate Editor. His book, Spirituality and Disability: Recovering Wholeness, was published by Baylor University Press in the spring of 2018. Bill and his wife, Beverly Roberts Gaventa, moved in 2013 to Waco, Texas where she serves as Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Baylor University, and then on to Austin in 2018, where their son, Matthew, daughter-in-law Sarah, and grandson Charlie are living.