Connie Hutchinson has been a national figure in the disability ministry movement for many years. I’ve had the opportunity to see her speak at conferences where I’ve presented, and our team from Key Ministry has had the opportunity to work with her at a large, regional disability ministry event in Iowa in 2010. We’re very pleased that Connie has joined the roster for Inclusion Fusion 2011. She’ll be speaking on the topic “The Road to Independence.”
In her presentation, Connie will share the story about her daughter Julie, a thirty-six year old young woman with Down syndrome. Julie lives alone in her own apartment and is successful due to many support systems in place–her church, regional center, independent living services and a circle of friends. Connie will describe Julie’s experiences of being an individual with Down syndrome who has been included in a faith-based community from childhood to adulthood. Connie will explain the role the church has played in enriching Julie’s life and in giving her the opportunity to use her spiritual gifts for the benefit of all.
Connie has been the Director of Disabilities Ministry at First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, CA since 1992. Connie teaches and oversees special education classes, support groups and community outreach programs and facilitates inclusion of students with disabilities in Sunday school classrooms whenever appropriate. She has spoken at conferences, conventions and colleges nationwide on including people with disabilities in the body life of your church. Connie has traveled to Ghana, North Africa, Romania and China as an advocate for people with disabilities. Connie and her husband Mike have been married for 40 years, have three children and three grandchildren.
More than twenty leaders in children’s ministry and disability ministry are coming together on November 3rd-5th to put on a FREE Special Needs Ministry Web Summit to connect church staff, volunteers, family members and caregivers everywhere. That’s Inclusion Fusion, Key Ministry’s First Annual Special Needs Ministry Web Summit, featuring Keynote Speaker Chuck Swindoll. Register here for the Summit!