Faith significantly impacts the experience of disability through the salient religious teachings about the meaning and nature of disabilities. Also, religion plays a major role in teaching on the relationship between individuals and society. This spiritual understanding of the nature and meaning of disability helps those working with individuals and families with disabilities (Lawson, 2017). As such, through religion, the disabled learn what disability means and how to cope with it. Religion permeates many aspects of human life, including significantly impacting the experience of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
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First, the major religions: Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam, believe disabled people are very important in the community, making them feel treasured and loved. Hodge and Reynolds (2018) demystify the common misunderstanding that disability is a punishment for mistakes. However, according to religion, the primary purpose of disability is to enable the society to learn about charity, humility, and respect since it has an enlightening purpose (Schuelka, 2015). According to Christian doctrines, everyone should serve the disabled and be humble to them. As such, religion makes the experience of disability bearable by teaching all people to treat them well and care for them.
Second, disability is an opportunity for community members to practice charity. In Buddhism, there is a common misconception that disability is the Karma of past life. However, this is not true since disability offers those around the disabled the opportunity to practice charity (Schuelka, 2015). According to all the three main religions, one needs to attract the disabled well to attract blessings. Therefore, faith places those with disabilities strategically to receive the care and love they need.
In conclusion, religion plays a crucial role in positively impacting the experience of disability. All the three main religions saliently create awareness to their congregants about what disability means. These teachings encourage fair treatment of the disabled to ensure they feel loved and a part of the family while attracting blessings. The common aspect of how religion impacts the experience of disability is the showing of love, respect, and charity to ensure a peaceful life full of love for one another in society. Therefore, religion (faith) permeates many aspects of human life, including impacting the experience of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Lawson, N. (2017). Disability and world religions: an introduction. Disability & Society, 32(6), pp.929-931.
Hodge, D. and Reynolds, C. (2018). Spirituality among People with Disabilities: A Nationally Representative Study of Spiritual and Religious Profiles. Health & Social Work, 44(2), pp.75-86.
Schuelka, M. (2015). A faith in humanness: disability, religion and development. Disability & Society, 28(4), pp.500-513.