Journal of Sustainable Social Change


While research identifies spirituality and inclusion in a community of faith as key factors contributing to quality of life for many individuals in our society, people with disabilities are often not able to access this aspect of everyday life if they wish. To change this, four groups must come together: (1) individuals with disabilities; (2) faith communities; (3) families of people with disabilities; and (4) support service providers. Current research describes the efforts of faith communities and people with disabilities and their families relative to spiritual inclusion; however, little is known about how support service systems are addressing this topic. This study surveyed direct support professionals to examine their beliefs, perceptions, and practices regarding spirituality and its role in the person-centered planning process for people with disabilities. Results indicate professionals have a high level of support for including spirituality in person-centered planning; however, this attitude does not consistently transfer to their practices. Overcoming identified barriers and meeting the needs of professionals are discussed in the context of better inclusion of this quality of life aspect for people with disabilities.