Disability Workshop at NCCI General Assembly, 2023

With the theme, “The Hour has come . . . Let us get going,” NCCI General Assembly, April 21-24, 2023, was a time to reaffirm that in our zeal to “get going” in “compassionate solidarity,” we “leave No one behind,” and always heed the methodological approach from persons with disabilities, “Nothing about us without us.”

Engage Disability was privileged to be invited as fraternal delegates to participate in the NCCI Assembly and to offer one of the parallel workshops during the Assembly on “Moving from Inclusion to Belonging.”

It is significant to note that for the first time in the history of the NCCI Assemblies sign language interpretation was offered for select sessions during the Assembly, notably the Presidential address by the General Secretary of WCC Prof Dr Jerry Pillai. It was a powerful way to showcase for the delegates from the 32 member churches of the NCCI, related agencies of NCCI, and fraternal guests the importance of measures of inclusion such as these to ensure that persons with disabilities feel acknowledged and their presence is taken seriously.

As part of the different thematic workshops offered at the Assembly, NCCI provided the platform for Engage Disability to offer a workshop to introduce participants who chose to attend this workshop the importance of breaking myths about disability within the church and in our theological understanding, and to pave the way to becoming a more welcoming place for persons with disabilities.  

The Chair of Engage Disability Mr. George Abraham, and the National Coordinator, Ms. Jessica Richard facilitated this workshop during the Assembly with the able collaboration of Rev Ribin John, Executive Secretary for Ecumenical Fora, NCCI. Prof Rajashekar, Hub Coordinator of Hyderabad Hub was also actively involved in the workshop as well as in putting together an inclusive music team that led the singing sessions throughout the Assembly. Ms. Annie Theodore, Hub Coordinator of Delhi Hub also participated in the Assembly as a fraternal delegate representing ecumenical entrepreneurs forum of NCCI and actively participated in the Disability workshop offered by Engage Disability at the Assembly.

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