Disability & Spirituality

About us

This website is the product of a network of people across Australia and Aotearoa, New Zealand, who share interests and concerns at the intersection of disability and spirituality: including people with disability, family members, supporters and friends, practitioners, activists, faith leaders, academics and policy makers.

This multi-faith group has held six conferences since 1996, gathering insights and understandings from a variety of speakers and sources. These conferences have been:

  • Brisbane, 1996: Disability, Religion and Health: Exploring the Spiritual Dimensions of Disability
  • Adelaide, 1998: Beyond The Ramp
  • Melbourne, 2001: Exclusion & Embrace
  • Wellington, 2003: Through The Whirlwind
  • Sydney, 2004: Bridges To Understanding
  • Melbourne, 2016: Exclusion & Embrace

For more information about these conferences, contact us via the email at the bottom of this page.


Lorna Hallahan

“In making a measure of the sacred part of our everyday we proclaim a vision of meaning, purpose and ultimacy that is the promise of all faiths.”

Lorna Hallahan

Lorna Hallahan


“The Muslim community is enjoined to be accepting of all people regardless of their disability.”

Sheik Isse Musse



"Spirituality is the divine spark which enthuses inside the person their dignity, their mysticism, their magnificence, their presence and their awe.”

Rev Leo Te Kira



“Accessing teachings from home is a great advance, (but) it is still not the same as being able to enter a temple.”

Diana Cousens


Reflective Being, Being Reflective


This 120-page book detailing the six conferences was first published in June 2022 to commemorate our 25th anniversary.

Edited by Andy Calder, Jayne Clapton and Trevor Parmenter, the book features contributions exploring important issues, such as ethics, care, friendship, discrimination, inclusion, National Disability Insurance Scheme, love, justice, liberation and “cripped” spiritualities.

The image on the front cover (part of which is used in the header above) is of a stained-glass artwork titled Pathways For Change, which provokes spiritual questions relating to belonging, identity and purpose.

Attendees at the book launch included:

Meredith Allan. World President (2018-2020), International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication).

Rev Vicki Terrell. Disability Ministry Educator, Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Uncle John Baxter. Aboriginal Partnership Coordinator, Brotherhood of St Laurence.

Rev Albert (Bhakta Dasa) Lange. Chairperson, Faith Communities Council of Victoria, Minister of religion for the Vaisnava Hindu Community.

Reflective Being, Being Reflective is available in print and e-book formats.


  • Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (EDAN)

  • Institute on Theology and Disability

  • Disability Spirituality and Faith Network

  • Uniting Church in Australia | Disability Inclusion