people live with a disability in the world today
of children in the U.S. have developmental disabilities
The global perspective on disability can be observed not just in spoken ideologies, but in polity, societal norms, law, religion, and other sociological presentations.
The effects of disability do not let up, they are daily, hourly, and can offer challenges by the minute, even. For many there is no abatement, no end in sight or the promise of a cure. Struggle and despair are too often the resulting experience.
"...at times our path in life with our special blessing of a child seems relentless...never letting up…not a momentary inconvenience but a life of need each day with our child deeply dependent on us."
For the parents of a child with special needs the struggle can be immense. Constant care, feedings, therapies, and a host of other interventions designed to help their child require so much time and effort. Physical fatigue gives way to relational and emotional fatigue further increasing stress and strain.
TEF Retreats provide a richly intimate escape for a family affected by disability to step away from these strains and be served. Ever detail throughout a Retreat is intentionally designed to provide maximal encouragement and care to our guest families. Each family leaves refreshed and renewed.
A team of over 20 volunteers tirelessly and passionately serve our families for the duration of the Retreat and often are greatly impacted by the time with our guest families.
"I feel better equipped to engage, love, and care for those with disabilities, and have learned to be stretched outside of my comfort zone." - TEF Retreat Volunteer
Children with disabilities are almost four times more likely to experience violence
Children ages 5-15 years in the United States experiencing disability.
United Nations reports states that persons with disabilities, “the world’s largest minority”, have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities.
Global needs of people experiencing disability are vast. Recent statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) state that upwards of 80% of people with disabilities reside in developing countries with a large majority of them living in poverty.
Institutionalization of people with disabilities is common practice. Often these institutions do not provide developmental resources and only minimal care. Abuses and neglect are rampant among the disabled of developing countries.
Basic education, therapies, or interventions are simply not afforded to many of these precious children and adults.
Across the globe their exists a severe famine of resources related the to the care, education, therapeutic intervention, and general well-being of people with disabilities. Even the most remedial of training and education could serve to provide a significant impact in the quality of life of a person with special needs.
"According to the World Bank, at least 40 million children with disabilities do not receive an education thus barring them from obtaining knowledge essential to gainful employment and forcing them to grow up to be financially dependent upon others."
Trauma-informed business consultancy, The Market Project, states that working in an emotionally and physically safe community brings transformation, strengthens agency in the individual, and offers opportunity for these men and women to contribute to or fully support themselves. Independent living is not possible without employment.
With such a large global population of people experiencing disability and with such overall disregard for their care we must do justice and extend the gospel of grace to them while also seeking to provide the resources they need.
TEF’s programs focus on developing community leading to a greater connectivity to families affected by disability. Through establishing community developmental progress can be made incrementally.
"We are to treat all human beings with respect for the whole of their lives, regardless of their particular characteristics. It is not our respect that gives them dignity, rather it is because they have dignity that we owe them respect." - Dr. Megan Best, Author of Fearfully and Wonderfully Made