Did you know that there is a difference between impairment and disability? Impairment is any loss of physical or mental function, where the result is old age, an accident, and disease or birth problems. Disability persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.
So, the difference between disability and impairment is the severity of the problem and barriers. Now that we have learned that, the Bible Society of Kenya in conjunction with the Bethany Child Trust has organized a three-day training of trainers which started on Monday 26th August 2019. This training is meant to help the trainers to train other people and sensitize them about children with disabilities and how to accommodate them, especially in churches.
The main objective of the training, transform disability, is to challenge harmful beliefs, to mobilize and equip churches to include children with disabilities in their communities of faith and mission. The training is meant for church leaders and volunteers. The group should be comprised of 15-30 participants representing several churches. The training can be conducted in a day to raise awareness and in four days to give detailed information. There are regular follow-up meetings and annual evaluations.
There are several misconceptions about people with disabilities. Some view them as stress, a curse, demon-possessed and as failures among many others. Your actions are influenced by your beliefs and attitudes. That is why you need to know that God does not make a mistake that they too are an image of God. They are unique in the same manner everyone is and they should be given the same opportunities to explore their God-given purpose.
As a church you can implement things like ramps on all passage areas, have a special needs awareness day, visiting them and having announcements done in sign languages to mention a few. There are so many things that can be done. Is your church aware of children with disabilities? If yes what have you done to make sure that they feel accommodated and appreciated? Get in touch with us to have your church trained on this matter. Leaders lead by example, be on the front line to advocate to enable children with disabilities. Remember, these children are a blessing from God and the blessing of God adds no Sorrow.