The beauty of the 5 Stages is anyone can share it. Anyone can train on it. Anyone can use it to advance the disability attitudes in their church, community, or even in their own house.
Here’s the simple three-step process to share the 5 Stages all by yourself:
1. Research your worldview.
What you think about disability has a lot to say about what you think about God. The 5 Stages is rooted in a belief that God is sovereign, that He redeems, and that we are not good in and of ourselves. Ultimately, the worldview behind the 5 Stages brings us to these conclusions:
- Disability is not a blessing, but it is also not a curse
- We are all disabled, but we are also not all disabled
- We don’t get our value from accomplishment, or from our disability, but from God
2. Familiarize yourself with disability facts and statistics.
Did you know the Center for Disease Control (United States) recently revealed that 1 in 50 children born today will eventually be diagnosed on the autism spectrum? How surprised are you to hear that people with disabilities are twice as likely to be unemployed or underemployed as their non-disabled peers? How about the fact that 85% of Christian families of persons with a disability do not attend church because they don’t feel welcome? There are lots of other statistics too. Here’s some good places to fund them:
- Department of Labor websites (look for surveys for your country, province, or state)
- Books on Disability (like “Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities” by Dr. Erik Carter)
- Disability Websites
3. Get to know the 5 Stages
The 5 Stages is a simple tool for describing the journey of disability attitudes experienced by people who build relationships with those who have disabilities. Its strength lies in its inherent self-assessment nature. When you talk to people about the 5 Stages, they wonder if they are at stage 1 or stage 3 or stage 5, and what it takes to get there. You can easily get up to speed on the 5 Stages by:
That’s all there is to it.
This will get you started. However, as time goes on, we will also make available some very practical, step-by-step instructions for sharing the 5 Stages with others. That’s why it’s so important for you to subscribe to or bookmark this blog!