Recognise the Need
On the basis of the national statistics, a congregation of just 30 is likely to have one person who has a degree of sightloss that could make it difficult for them to read the songbook or see the screen. A congregation of 200 is likely to include at least 6 or 7, with one of them registered blind. If that doesn’t square with your experience then ask yourself these two questions …
Do I really know? Few people with sightloss will draw attention to their disability. Many will not be carrying a white cane and just a privileged few have guide dogs. Many will not even apply the terms blind or partially sighted to themselves.
Could there be a reason that the congregation is unrepresentative? Is your church sightloss friendly? If your first few minutes in a new church made you feel disorientated, unwelcome and excluded from much of what went on around you, would you come again?
Register On this Website
Affirm your interest in seeing people with sight loss included within the life of your church. Visit the foursight webpage http://www.torch-foursight.org and complete the simple form, giving the name of your church and contact details for yourself or (with their permission) someone else at your church. Once registered you will have access to a growing body of on-line resources that will help you and your church make a difference for blind and partially sighted people.
Get the Church Pack
Soon after you have registered on-line we will send you the foursight church pack. In it you will find...
- A booklet that will help you make those with sightloss feel more welcome and involved at your church.
- Information about visual awareness training for you and your church
- Information about Christian resources in large/giant print, braille, audio and electronic formats
- Ways you and your church can help blind and partially sighted people in your community
- Ways your church can make a difference for blind and partially sighted people in other countries
Prepare for Now and the Future
So often we concentrate on what a blind person cannot do – rather than what they can do. We think only of what we can do for them and not of the contribution that they can make, overlooking the gift God has given them for the blessing of the church. As a result we all miss out.
Almost one in four of us will experience sight loss for ourselves. It may be temporary, perhaps through an accident, or it may be due to an age-related disease. It’s something a lot of us will get to know from the inside. It’s not about them, it’s about us
The resources in the Church Pack and on the Torch foursight website can be a catalyst for change – a change in thinking that leads naturally to a desire to tackle the things that might present barriers to the full inclusion of blind and partially sighted people within the life of the church.