Don’t Be Out of Your Depth with Deaf People in Church
New Deaf Awareness Video available
If you don’t know sign language, meeting someone at church who is d/Deaf* may seem scary. How could you communicate?
Answer: watch the new free Deaf Awareness training video for churches available from disability charity Through the Roof.
Revd Neil Robinson, Chaplain to the Deaf community in Salisbury, presents this training resource in British Sign Language (BSL), with subtitles and voice-over.
An essential resource for churches that offers advice, encouragement and practical suggestions is
available on YouTube (@TTRChangesLives) here: * new free Deaf Awareness training video *
You can also download it at: https://bit.ly/deafawarenesstraining
Neil tells you what to do if someone arrives at your church who is d/Deaf, including how to book BSL interpreters, and other communication tactics.
Neil’s top tips if a d/Deaf person comes to your church for the first time:
· Smile and show they are welcome! Don’t panic – just try to communicate.
· Ask if they can lip read – point to your mouth to show what you mean.
· If you can’t sign, you may be able to use written messages and gestures.
· Don’t assume all d/Deaf people have the same communication needs –people may lip read or sign in BSL, or use other forms of signing.
· Always look at the d/Deaf person – speak to them directly, not to a person accompanying them.
· If a d/Deaf person visits, never ever pray for them to hear without asking! They know their prayer needs, and being d/Deaf may be their identity.
The training video is 18 minutes long and has four parts:
1. An introduction
2. How to communicate with a d/Deaf person
3. A variety of communication tactics
4. Link to spiritual issues and spiritual well-being.
Neil says, ‘d/Deaf people are valuable to God; God loves them just as they are’.
For a further video explaining why Deaf awareness is so important, watch Revd Neil's personal story at Rev Neil's Story - YouTube
Through the Roof supports churches and church leaders with free training and resources to promote Christian disability inclusion – see https://throughtheroof.org/forchurches/ and @TTRChangesLives.
[* The term d/Deaf is used to cover both the wider deaf population (small d), including those who are hard of hearing, and the Deaf community (capital D) which uses BSL (British Sign Language) as the first or preferred language and has its own cultural identity.]
Christian Concern for One World (CCOW)
Resources and help for your church
Do you drive? Do you have a car?
If yes, then we need your help.
The Salvation Army are recruiting for new Transport Volunteer Drivers to transport victims of Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking to one of our contracted Safe Houses.
No car, no problem,
we need Chaperones too! The Salvation Army are recruiting for Transport Volunteer Chaperones to accompany Drivers & to ensure victims feel safe and cared for.
If you are interested in finding out more please contact ATMSVolunteering@salvationarmy.org.uk or visit our website
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Volunteering could make an amazing difference to someone’s life
How Do I Find A Church That Welcomes Me?
A map that gives an important message to disabled people.
Through the Roof have created a new online map to show churches and ministries that are positive about disability inclusion. It’s available now at their website www.throughtheroof.org.
Fiona Gosden, Church Inclusion Coordinator at Through the Roof, said, “I’m a Christian, and a wheelchair user. Many churches don’t realise how difficult it can be for disabled people to find a church to belong to. Having recently moved to Norwich, I’m looking forward to exploring new churches, and excited about using our own new map to help me! I’d love to know if I would receive a warm welcome at your church and find a community where I can belong and play my part in God’s kingdom—so please do visit the map, and submit your own church so we can tell others about you.”’
“When I first became a Christian, I was apprehensive about finding a church that I could belong to as a wheelchair user. Only Google maps existed then, and it didn’t tell me whether the churches would welcome me. This map does.”
Joining the map doesn’t mean your church has perfect access and gets everything right, it means that you are wanting to welcome disabled people and to respond by enabling them to be part of your church.
You can welcome disabled people to your church by taking these 2 steps:
1) Have a Roofbreaker (disability champion) in your church.
2) Join your church to The Online Map to show that you want to welcome disabled people.
Through the Roof will support Roofbreakers by...
· Providing a FREE 2 hour Zoom Disability Awareness workshop
· Giving access to our free downloadable ‘Church Toolkit’
· Helping you to discover more of the benefits of having a ‘Roofbreaker’ in your church through ongoing support, monthly emails, events, Facebook and Roofbreaker Networks.
Sign up to become a Roofbreaker here: www.throughtheroof.org/sign-up...
Join the map here: www.throughtheroof.org/sign-up...
Photos to accompany this story are available from: Dropbox – Online Map News Release – Simplify your life or by request
Notes: Through the Roof trains and equips churches and other organisations to be inclusive of people with any disability. It publishes resource material, runs short term overseas missions, distributes refurbished wheelchairs in developing countries and runs accessible holidays, among other programmes. We make the Christian gospel accessible to everyone affected by disability – disabled people and their families.
For more information please contact:
Fiona Gosden (firstname.lastname@example.org) Deputy Church Inclusion (Roofbreaker) Co-ordinator
Janet Eardley (email@example.com) Church Inclusion (Roofbreaker) Co-ordinator
Pioneer practice is about seeing possibility, dreams, ideas of how things could be better or new or different. And then making something happen out of that seeing.