Equipping Trainers for wider Reach of the ED “Disability Inclusion Toolkit for Churches”
Pastors, people with disability, family members of people with disability, special-school tutors, members from NGOs for PWDs and individual volunteers formed the vibrant mix of trainees who were trained at the Third Training of the Trainers (ToT) for the Regional Hubs of Engage Disability in South India.
Around 15 vibrant and enthusiastic participants nominated by Regional Hubs of Engage Disability in South India participated in the ToT program. The nominees were from hubs at Chennai, Madurai, Kodaikanal, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Hubli, Kerala and from the Arch Diocese of Bengaluru Commission for the Differently Abled. They were introduced to the Disability Inclusion Toolkit for Churches – a flagship resource of Engage Disability.
The participants were familiarized to various types of disabilities, the issues people with disabilities face in society, their struggles, and aspirations. As the workshop was geared to equip potential future trainers, the sessions placed special emphasis on the purpose of each chapter, key points, and etiquette towards persons with disabilities. The workshop followed a more “learning by doing” methodology that equipped participants by involving their head, hands, and heart, to learn in a more experiential and wholesome way.
The trainees of the ToT are expected to become trainers in disability inclusion in their respective regional hubs and will train other volunteers, family members of persons with disabilities, church groups, NGOs and individuals who seek to understand disability inclusion in depth.
During the training the participants were deployed in group activities wherein they chose interesting topics from the modules in the toolkit and presented it using innovative and inspiring activities.
The need of the hour is that the Christian community in India becomes a disability inclusive community. It is our hope that these trainers will carry forward the message and methodologies to a wider circle in the Christian community in India so that churches and Christian institutions will be equipped to become a more disabled welcoming church that truly works for the full and just participation of persons with disabilities in every area of the life and ministry of the church in India. To ensure this, participants were encouraged to evolve their own POA – plan of action – for their regions.
This ToT was conducted for two and half days (11th – 13th September, 2023) at Pallanaa Bhavana, Bengaluru. Ms. Jubin Varghese (Emmanuel Hospital Association) and Vice Chair of Engage Disability, who was also instrumental in compiling the ED Toolkit for churches was the resource person for the ToT. She was assisted by the new Training Facilitator of Engage Disability, Rev Eunice Rajamathi, and the programme was coordinated by National Coordinator, Jessica Richard.
We are thankful to the team at Paalanaa Bhavana and the Commission for the Differently Abled of the Archdiocese of Bengaluru for their hospitality and assistance to successfully conduct this programme.