Stephen GlicksmanDr. Stephen Glicksman, adjunct associate professor at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, director of clinical innovation at Makor Disability Services, and founder of the Makor College Experience (Makor’s partnership program with Yeshiva University), presented at two conferences in December on the topic of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID).

On December 2, 2019, he presented at the 5th International Conference on Child Health, Development and Welfare at Hadassah University Medical Center, Ein Kerem Campus, Jerusalem, Israel. The theme of conference was “The Challenged Child,” and the title of his presentation was “The Makor College Experience: Successes and challenges in the first years of a college experience program for individuals with Intellectual Disability.” In his talk, he spoke about the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from running a college experience program for individuals with ID. He concluded that while much progress has been made in the fight against prejudice, fear and exclusion, “there is also a need to fight against misguided kindness, inclusion as an ‘activity’ as opposed to a reality; that takes sensitivity, and it takes firmness, and it takes forethought, and it takes honesty, and it takes openness, and, with these, it can be a truly rewarding experience for everyone.”

On December 4, 2019, he presented at the World Psychiatric Association’s 4th Global Meeting in Spirituality and Mental Health, also in Jerusalem, Israel. He spoke about “Spirituality in the Lives of People with Intellectual Disability,” and among the many points he made in his presentation, he noted that in talking about spirituality in the lives of people with ID, “it is important to come from a place of spiritual humility.”  He acknowledged that people with ID have cognitive limitations that make it difficult for them to understand some aspects of spirituality and religious doctrine, “but so do people without ID. And the faith that a religious personality has, namely, that these concepts are true even without my fully understanding them, is something that can be accepted by many people with Intellectual Disability and can serve the same purposes that it does for those without Intellectual Disability: to comfort, to help cope, and to provide explanation, purpose, meaning, and contentment.”

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