An enthusiastic basketball player who currently works at Goodwill and attends WCI in Woodstock, Josh Masters is a 20-year-old with Down syndrome who would love to work in the fitness industry at a YMCA or gym. He has recently been accepted into Lambton College where he will study sports and recreation this fall!
You can read the whole article here. Below is a sample:
“I never dreamed he’d go to college,” said his exuberant mother Michele Masters. “I never dreamed of that possibility.”
The oldest of four children, two of Josh’s siblings also have Down Syndrome and one has a duo diagnosis of autism, making life a little hectic at times for the Masters’ family.
For example, in February, while her mother Pal Wilson lay dying in palliative care, Masters had to ferry her four children to 27 various professional appointments in 19 days.
But despite it all, Masters and her husband Dave waste little time on self-pity, preferring to look at each of her children as “a gift from God.”
She said her family thrives thanks to strong medical, community and church support and credits agencies such as Woodstock District Developmental Services, the Child and Parent Resource Institute, Good Beginnings Daycare and the Down Syndrome Parent Association for their strong support.
As an outspoken advocate for her special needs children, Masters, a stay-at-home mom by necessity, has always pushed for their inclusion at school.
“I think Joshua’s success and ability to do what he’s doing has a lot to do with being included,” she said. “Joshua has never been in a developmental class, he always went mainstream in school.”
The lesson my disabled son gives stands as a powerful testament to the dignity and infinite value of every human person, especially of those the world deems the weakest and most “useless.” Through their sharing in the “folly” of the Cross, the disabled are, in truth, the most powerful and the most productive among us. …Read More →
I am drawn back to a time two thousand years ago, when expectations were at an all-time high. I see the crowds of people milling, pushing, trying to catch a glimpse of the one to whom they were shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” …Read More →
Faith Today March/April 2013 (click here for the online issue) features three articles highlighting the topic of disability. I am excited that there has been a significant increase in theological research and writing, autobiographies, conferences, blogs and conversations in the Church on “What ought we do?” We must be diligent that this is is not …Read More →
An article in the journal “Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities” (Feb 2013) describes a research project that highlights the importance of religion and spirituality in the lives of persons with disabilities. The authors conducted a survey of 416 families to explore the way in which they and their children participated and were included in congregational life. The …Read More →
This is an recent interview in the United Observer with my friend, John Swinton. It’s an excellent piece that highlights the importance of clear theological thinking in regards to disability ministries.
“The Abilities Ministries is a disability rights Christian Ministry that is leading the way in connecting the disabled and Christian Community together in order to mutually respect the rights and choices of people with disabilities to equally participate within the church. The Abilities Ministries is supporting churches in becoming strategic and proactive in reaching out …Read More →
What: The vision of the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability is to expand the depth and breadth of theological inquiry and resources that address and include the gifts, needs, and contributions of people with disabilities and their families to theological learning and religious practice. Where: Toronto, Ontario, Canada When: July 15 – 19, 2013 …Read More →
Director- From The Inside Out- Special Needs Ministry Website: www.ftiomin.weebly.com Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Two years ago, if you asked me what I would be doing today, I would definitely not have included my current role as the Director of a disability ministry! Although my life has been touched by disability since I was a young child, …Read More →
Click here to visit the site of the special needs ministry at Centre Street Church in Calgary “I’m so happy to be here,” I enthused on the platform overlooking a theatre crowded with restless children. “Are you happy to be here too, even at this early hour of the morning?” the adults stared blankly at …Read More →