Speaking Topics

To Live an Unrealistic Life – The word “realistic” is often used too early and too frequently when discussing the future of a person with a disability. This session shares stories of Jerry’s life, and others who have found their giftedness and calling. Learn to look past what we consider realistic and explore answers to Whose Am I?  Who Am I? How was I created? What is God’s purpose for me?

Intro to Church Disability Ministry – When a local church wants to welcome and reach out to individuals and families affected by disability heart attitude is the place to start. This session will help you avoid common mistakes and look at two Bible stories of Jesus’ interactions with people with disabilities.

Disability Culture and the Church – The Church and the Disability Rights Movement have an uneasy relationship. Before a local church embraces disability, they may face distrust or apathy. This session shares a user-friendly history of the disability rights movement and looks at ways the Church has responded over the years.

The Third Wheel in Marriage – Disability brings subtle and bold nuances to marriage, acting as a third wheel. This workshop discusses these differences and provides practical help for the couple, plus tips on how a local church or community can help support a marriage in which one spouse has a disability.

You Know You’re a Caregiver When . . . –  Not only has Joan been a caregiver in marriage, but she has forty years’ experience working with and encouraging caregivers. This talk will share humorous and poignant lessons gleaned from caregivers over the years.

Caregiving When you Just Don’t Care – Family caregivers love the person they care for, but some days that privilege feels like a burden. They may be burned out, depressed, or just plain tired. Joan helps caregivers identify these feelings and find the courage to start again. Friends and faith communities learn about the life of a caregiver and are encouraged to journey together.

Grace Based Advocacy –  Surveys show that faith is of equal importance to people with disabilities and those without. We all long for a place of acceptance and belonging. Too often we hear stories of families with disabilities who are not welcomed or even turned away from a church. It is tempting to approach faith communities the same way we approach schools or service providers. In this session, we explore grace-based advocacy to build a bridge, not just tear down a wall.

 Leadership Lessons – Jerry has learned a thing or two about leading having founded three non-profits and served in leadership positions in national and international organizations. In this session he shares lessons applicable to anyone who wants to be, or already is, a leader.

Anger, Disability, and the Hope of the Gospel – Not every person affected by disability is angry, but many are. In this session, Jerry helps people understand the root of that anger, ways to use that anger for good, and ultimately how the Gospel achieves what anger never could.

What My Parents Did Right – Growing up with a disability is difficult, so is parenting a child with a disability. Drawing from his life with a disability, Jerry identifies five things his parents did right to prepare him for life. He’ll discuss ways to apply these discoveries in your own family or with those you serve.

Life Hacks for Living with Disability – In this session, Jerry offers “tricks of the trade” that allow one to be more fully engaged with their community. Young people living with disabilities, or those newly diagnosed, will find encouragement, and perhaps a fresh idea.

Two Things My Wheelchair Can’t Do –  (designed for K-elementary) – The lights and features of Jerry’s wheelchair, and the tools that aid his daily living intrigue children. As the kids explore and try some of these tools, Jerry shares the two most important things his wheelchair cannot do: 1) be his friend and 2) tell him about Jesus. He asks the children if they will do those things for people with disabilities they may meet.

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