Intellectual disability and faith communities: perspectives of Catholic religious leaders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Faith communities create community and are important to many individuals with intellectual disability. However, relatively little is known about how intellectual disability is construed among faith leaders and the inclusion of people with intellectual disability in faith communities. To address these gaps in knowledge, we interviewed 12 Catholic priests, parochial vicars, and deacons to explore: their experiences with individuals with intellectual disability; their beliefs towards the involvement of individuals with intellectual disability within faith communities; and how religion informs their understanding of intellectual disability. We identified five religiously-anchored narratives of intellectual disability, and explore implications for individuals with intellectual disability and faith communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1241-1258
Number of pages18
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 14 2015


  • Catholic leaders
  • faith communities
  • inclusion
  • intellectual disability
  • meaning of intellectual disability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • General Health Professions
  • General Social Sciences


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