This list is in no way comprehensive of all the great things available in the field of Disability Ministry. However, I do feel like these are some things that I just could not live without. I’ve tried to include links to the content when possible.

Inspirational Books

A Better Way: Where Least Is Most by David Glover  A foundational read for ministries to and with persons with disabilities! This book helps us understand our culture’s attitude toward people David describes as PURE. Available for purchase at

Amplifying Our Witness: Giving Voice to Adolescents with Disabilities by Benjamin T. Conner  Both a fantastic theological treatment of disability and practical guide for relationship building.

Wrestling with an Angel by Greg Lucas

Autism & Alleluias, by Kathleen Deyer Bolduc     In this series of slice-of-life vignettes, God’s grace glimmers through as a shining light at the end of a very long tunnel.

Body Building – Devotions to Celebrate Inclusive Community, by Barbara Newman     Appropriate for the family dinner table, personal devotions, Christian school classroom devotions, and church groups, this book features 6 weeks of 7 devotionals. Each devotion highlights a passage of Scripture as well as a story from an inclusive Christian school or church. Pick it up at

Adam by Henri Nouwen  The story of how caregiving for a handicapped adult changed a theologian’s ideas about God.

The Bible, Disability and The Church by Amos Yong  One of the primary sources for my thesis. An excellent interpretation of Biblical texts about disability, this is a cornerstone resource for churches seeking to become inclusive communities.

Ministry Networks & Organizations

PURE Ministries Network provides this support along with practical tips, advice, and collaboration. The Network is open to churches, independent ministries, and individuals directly involved with PURE Ministry.

CLC Network delivers education and support services to faith-based and public charter schools, home educators, and churches nationwide. Their online store carries a wealth of resources that are helpful in church and home settings.

Key Ministry An organization committed to offering training and consulting resources for special needs ministries. They have so much to offer!!


Guides and Tools

G.L.U.E. Training DVD & Manual      Making Room: Cultivating Communities of Inclusion G.L.U.E. Training DVD, Presented by Barbara J. Newman along with guests Dr. Andrew J.   Bandstra, Dr. Thomas B. Hoeksema, and Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Honderd, Produced by CLC Network.

169 Minute DVD Presentation.

Put a set of very practical strategies around your desire to include individuals with disabilities in the church. This companion DVD for the G.L.U.E. Training Manual will inspire as well as lead you through the G.L.U.E. process, giving you specific practice in putting together individual church plans for both children and adults with disabilities.This DVD is perfect for Seminary Classes, Church Leaders, and Volunteers. Grants are available to assist churches with the purchase of this resource at

Make Heaven a Noisier Place: Including Children with Disabilities
 Presented by Barbara J. Newman, Produced by CLC Network.
55 Minute DVD Presentation.The most important and powerful key to including children and adults with disabilities is giving God-honoring information to peers and volunteers. Learn practical strategies for preparing your congregation to eagerly receive those with disabilities into the body of Christ.This DVD is perfect for Children’s Ministry Leaders, Church Leaders, and your Congregation.

Your Feet, My Shoes This resource describes a powerful way to allow children in grades 1-8 a chance to take a walk in the shoes of someone else. Not only will each child get a chance to experience a variety of disability areas, they will also have a chance to process how we can best treat one another as Christians. This material is appropriate for school, church, and home settings.

Helping Include Kids with Disabilities by Barbara Newman Information is critical when including children with disabilities in a peer group. This book supplies tools for teachers, peers, and parents of peers by giving basic information for educators concerning specific disabilities, lesson plans for teaching peers about those areas of disability, and sample letters that can be adapted to send home to parents of peers.

Inclusion Awareness Kit This kit contains a lesson plan and the needed supplies to allow children and adults to see each individual as an important and gifted piece of “God’s body puzzle”.  The lesson plan lets you target any age group and offers an appealing final display.  The plan also suggests ways in which you can allow group members to better understand the gifts and needs of an individual with a disability. This Kit contains the puzzle pieces, activity labels and display items for a group of 20.

Functional Behavior Assessment for People with Autism: Making Sense of Seemingly Senseless Behavior by Beth Glasberg  A helpful guide to understand the behaviors of children with disabilities.

Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption by Ralph James Savarese  The journey of a family that adopted a non-verbal child with autism. Excellent resource to learn about facilitated communication.

Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism by Roy Richard Grinkler  An anthropologist and father of a daughter with autism explores the impact of culture on disabilities.

Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder by Lucy Jane Miller  I always ask people who are familiar with sensory issues to read this first. Miller is the foremost researcher in this area but writes so that anyone can understand the impact this has on learning and living.

The Way I See It by Temple Grandin  Read anything by Grandin. This is a collection of essays on specific topics/symptoms of autism. As an adult with autism, she explains exactly how her brain is different and what that means as she navigates life. Read anything she writes!


Curriculum & Adaptations

Sensory University   A website with all kinds of therapy goodies that are often recommended in curriculum adaptations. An excellent resource for items to enhance a sensory break area or special needs classroom.

Shaping Special Hearts Newsletter   A resource that I am especially proud of because I get to help develop it!! Developed as a companion to Standard Publishing’s HeartShaper Sunday School Curriculum, the Shaping Special Hearts Newsletter is packed with more than just lesson adaptations. Articles are included to help inspire and train volunteers as they work in ministry with special needs children. This downloadable FREE resource is available at

The Out-of-Sync Child & The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun by Carol Stock-Kranowitz    Two excellent resources that assist the lay teacher in understanding the sensory systems of children with special needs. You’ll feel like an expert in no time!!

Learning In Motion: 101+ Sensory Activities for the Classroom  by Patricia Angermeier  This is a great resource for the classroom teacher as it is organized monthly by seasonal units. Each month highlights activities that have a therapeutic benefit. This also includes a parent letter about each activity. The appendix is a rich source of adaptation ideas as well.

Do 2 Learn    A website with all kinds of goodies from pictures cards to facial recognition software to behavior management tools. Some of these resources are also FREE. My person favorite is the Make-a-Schedule option.

Pinterest    Check out my Special Needs Board on Pinterest for more things I run across! Search for me under Vangie Rodenbeck:)


Inclusive Church     Amy Fenton Lee does a variety of great things on this site.

Not alone.   Great insight into the hearts of parents of children with special needs. A good recommendation for parents who may need daily inspiration as they are learning to cope with a diagnosis.

Church4everychild   Steve Grcevich posts incredible articles that will leave you feeling like an expert! He also has an impressive list of “guest bloggers” that lend even more critical perspectives. Steve has his finger on the pulse of special needs ministry. Follow his blog at


Ministry to Parents of PURE Children

A Different Kind of Perfect Edited by Cindy Dowling   A collection of writing from parents about the stages of grief and coming to terms with their child’s disability.

Different Dream Parenting by Jolene Philo  A practical guide for parents who are newly diagnosed. Have 3 on your shelf at all times – one for reference and 2 to give away. This guide to advocacy overs effective research, communication, dealing with insurance companies and just about every aspect of life change associated with a diagnosis.

A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism   a DVD about one mom’s journey into research for her non-verbal autistic child

Loving Lampposts  a DVD documentary by a father of a child with autism…excellent interviews with well known researchers

i am intelligent: From Heartbreak to Healing by Peyton & Dianne Goddard  A chronicle of a mother’s fight and advocacy for her non-verbal daughter. This chronological account of her daughters life takes an interesting turn when she discovers that her daughter can communicate through use of technology. Written together, this book shows events through the perspective of both parent and child. Get your Kleenex…

be different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian by John Elder Robinson  For a point of view of an adult who learned to live with his difference and leverage it to his advantage this can’t be beat. Also get Look Me in the Eye by same author.

Not Even Wrong by Paul Collins  A historian explores autism through history in an effort to understand his son. I love this book. I read it once a year.


For Children

Be Good to Eddie Lee by Virginia Fleming

My Autism Heroes by Jennifer Collins



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