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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Forgiveness, gratitude, and spirituality are separate yet intertwined. Forgiveness has long been seen as a spiritual, if not religious process. Forgiveness and gratitude play fundamental roles in changing the perception, approach, and responses to disability by the individuals themselves, their families, professionals, caregivers, friends, and communities. Spirituality and/or religious beliefs and practice can initiate both forgiveness and gratitude but also can be harmful and isolating. All three are focus areas for an increasing amount of scientific research, particularly on the impact of forgiveness and spirituality on health and well-being. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities can also be agents of forgiveness and gratitude, as well as demonstrate a capacity for other dimensions of spirituality. The power of all three encourages using the potential of spirituality as a source of support and inclusion, particularly when it comes to overcoming barriers of participation and attitude.

Keywords: forgiveness, gratitude, spirituality, intellectual and developmental disability, health, attitude, religion, participation, professional role

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