“We Need To Show Another Way”: championing the needs of disabled people in church

At a recent online event Jonathan Bryan, who communicates by using eye movements only, encouraged us all that, “As a church community we need to show another way from the norms of society, where disability is often begrudgingly accommodated.”

Jonathan communicated every word of his powerful presentation, although it was physically read by his friend, and it can be viewed below or at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Psp9xLxKR6s

At the event, hosted by Christian disability charity, Through the Roof, Jonathan shared some of his incredible journey from being unable to communicate to being freed to express his innermost thoughts and perspectives on life and faith, using eye movements alone to communicate via a specially designed spelling board.

He is used to the many disabling factors in society, and church life, that limit his full participation as part of God’s family – although his own church and youth leader intentionally involve him in the planning and decision-making of activities which affect him.

Still only aged 15, he has published a book, ‘Eye Can Write’ and established a charity, ‘Teach Us Too’ calling for all children to be given the opportunity to read and write, regardless of their perceived ability.

One delegate enthused: “Jonathan showed us that although he is profoundly disabled, he is also profoundly able.”

Through the Roof CEO, Tim Wood said, “Jonathan’s presentation is highly recommended viewing for those committed to enabling disabled people to be part of church life, and absolutely essential for those who aren’t!”

The charity provides free support and resources to anyone who signs up as a Roofbreaker to champion the needs of disabled people in their church or ministry. Find out more at: https://www.throughtheroof.org/forchurches/roofbreakers/

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