Listening to the Powerless Religious Education for Adults with Severely Intellectual Disabilities: A Case Study


The fact that they cannot speak for themselves without intensive support has made individuals with severe intellectual disabilities become one the most powerless segment in a population. The status of their participation in religious educational programmes organized by local churches is sometimes ambiguous and problematic. With parental request, they could be invited to partake in religious learning activities. However, it is not easy for church educators to engage with them in meaningful ways. They could be left idle in the program for an extended period of time. Through the learning experiences of a man with SID in a Hong Kong protestant church, this paper looks to give an account of the cultural and religious forces that have marginalized this powerless group in religious education. An educational approach that combines person-centred care and communal oriented action research is recommended for church educators to identify religious needs, set learning goals, design appropriate activities and assess performance for these individuals.

Author Information
Sarah Shea, China Graduate School of Theology, Hong Kong

Paper Information
Conference: ACERP2015
Stream: Religion - Religion and Education

This paper is part of the ACERP2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon