About

The Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center is made possible by a partnership between the Union for Reform Judaism and the Ruderman Family Foundation. Reform professionals, lay leaders, youth, clergy, educators and congregants are invited to use the study sessions and resources on this site to develop additional skills, strategies and understanding to make possible the full participation of people with disabilities in early childhood education, B’nai Mitzvah, youth group, congregational trips, worship and every other area of congregational life.

How to use this site

On this site participants will have access to webinars, videos, and written resources developed by experts in disabilities inclusion, including leading educators, clergy, people with disabilities and their families.There will be opportunities to interact with our presenters and to consult with other congregations and URJ staff members.

We invite participants to browse through the site and get information about one topic or many. New content will regularly be added to the site.

Participants can familiarize themselves with this site and learn more about how to navigate it by viewing the “Introduction to the Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center” study session.  You can easily access the study session by clicking here.

Recognizing exemplar congregations

In order to create a truly inclusive congregation and to help dispel misconceptions about people with disabilities, we encourage you to work your way through the online program and to urge all of the staff and lay leadership to join in. Reform Congregations and professionals with robust participation will be honored with certifications of merit in inclusion at Biennial 2015 in Orlando.

Congregations that have been actively engaged in extensive and successful disabilities efforts in one or more areas of congregational life are invited to apply to become exemplar congregations. Information about your congregation can be submitted to Rabbi Edythe Mencher at emencher@urj.org, and Joseph D. Robbins at jrobbins@urj.org. Exemplar congregations will be also be honored at Biennial.

A note on diverse approaches to inclusion

While we are pleased to offer exceptionally useful information and guidance on this site, it is important to recognize that each congregant and congregation is unique and that there are a variety of approaches to inclusion and to understanding different disabilities. The websites, videos and other information provided here can serve as an introduction and can help acquaint participants with strategies and perspectives to help them begin and advance their journey toward inclusion.

The learning offered on this site cannot and is not intended to replace consultations with professionals in the fields of special education, mental health and other relevant private and government organizations.