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Why Adventist Church Is Placing New Emphasis on Special Needs

By Larry R. Evans, assistant to the General Conference president for Special Needs Ministries

For decades those who could not see, hear, walk, or think like the majority were often grouped into a category referred to as “those with disabilities.”

While not a bad label, it often did at least two things. First, those receiving this “identity” were reminded of what they could not do. Second, the kind of support given was often limited to what was perceived to be a physical need. Few efforts were made to incorporate the positive contributions these people had to offer into the mainline ministry and activities of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

This, however, is about to change.

The General Conference, the administrative body of the Adventist world church, formed a committee to address these needs in 2011. The group was named Special Needs Committee and placed within the Personal Ministries and Sabbath School Ministries department. This department gave some support to the blind and others with physical limitations.

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