Bishop T.D. Jakes (The Potter’s House photo)

Urban News Staff Reports

 The Potter’s House, a 30,000-member non-denominational church, founded by global spiritual leader Bishop T.D. Jakes, is hosting its first-ever virtual expo to empower individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families, through life-changing resources, encouragement, and prayer, during a time of worldwide crisis.
The virtual expo is set to take place on Saturday, May 30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT. Those who are interested in learning about the latest resources in the marketplace, for individuals with IDD, are welcome to register and be a part of the one-of-a-kind, free, virtual experience.
“It’s critical for the survival of our IDD community to not become socially ‘isolated’ and excluded, in a time where social distancing and fear are the new norm,” said Serita Jakes, first lady at The Potter’s House and IDD outreach spokeswoman. “In this season, our priority is to stay connected and to ensure that some of the most vulnerable citizens in our society have access to the proper support and professional guidance needed to adapt to the shifting culture—to live a more fulfilling life.”
During the virtual expo, vendors will share information about their organization, materials, and services. Some of the program offerings include professional education and resources in the following specialties:
  • Health and wellness (physical, mental)
  • Therapies (cognitive behavioral, language, and occupational)
  • Estate and financial planning
  • Independent living and vocational training
Since 2007, The Potter’s House special needs ministry, recently renamed Capable Minds, Hearts & Hands: The Potter’s House IDD Outreach, has offered state-of-the-art programs and environments like “The Sensory Room,” a multi-sensory environment created to give an immersive and balanced experience for individuals of all ages with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
“The calming nature of our sensory environment contains a remote-controlled, digitally lit, raised bubble tube platform waterfall to enhance skills such as switching, cause and effect, and color recognition, as well as helping to de-escalate,” said Demetrice Smith, Doctor of Business Administration, IDD Outreach program director at The Potter’s House. “Individuals with autism and other IDD conditions are able to explore and develop their sensory skills with music therapy, and relieve stress and anxiety with our reading corner and tactile, motor skills, and cognitive development areas.”
Additionally, The Potter’s House is the first church in the world with a Best Buddies International chapter. The church’s IDD outreach, led by Smith, hosts monthly support groups for moms, dads, siblings and caregivers.
“The Best Buddies program has helped our family in so many ways. It’s given us a place where we can be transparent and not judged, a place to share our stories and experiences, a place to come and take a load off because we know that we’re not alone,” said Andrea Henderson, member of The Potter’s House and an IDD outreach mom for two and a half years. “The program helps to shine light on our kids with special abilities and what they can do. It makes us stronger together and gives us great insight, information, and resources.”
To register for the virtual expo, visit, or to become a vendor, visit here. To learn more about The Potter’s House IDD outreach, special programs and events, email or visit

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