SESSION TWO

Understanding how sight loss can impact church life

Objective

To understand the impact of sight loss on individuals in your church.

 

Useful resources

Sight Loss Friendly Church video

Success stories

 

Real life experiences

“My church do try to include me by making sure I have braille copies of song books, however no one tells me what number song we’re about to sing – they just say ‘Now we’ll sing the next song on the screen.’”

“I often feel left out at coffee times. I can’t go over and find someone to talk to because I don’t know who is where. I feel a bit stuck, hoping someone will come to me.”

“For people like myself it’s just very hard to enter in, feel a part of it. I’ve never had physical sight, I don’t know what it is to have sight. But amen for spiritual sight!”

“I went to churches and they tended to regard you as ‘the blind person’, rather than the Christian with unique gifts just as anyone else has. People’s expectations of you were very low.”

 

Practical activity

Go outside and put on your modified glasses or eye mask and walk back into the building. Try to get to your normal seat, if you have one. Find the toilets. Stay safe by having someone by your side while doing this.

With the modified glasses on try to read a hymn book or follow words on a screen.

If you are in a group ask one individual to wear an eye mask, or blind fold, for the next part of this session.

 

Discussion/reflection

After reading the stories of people’s experiences in churches, and your own experience of moving around your church blindfolded, talk about what you’ve become aware of and what this might mean for your church. Try asking these questions:

  • How did it feel to enter the church?
  • How easy was it to find different church resources, toilets or where to sit?
  • Which places in the church were most/least accessible?
  • Were there any really difficult or dangerous aspects around the church?
  • How well do you think you could enjoy the church service with your vision obscured, or if you were blind folded?
  • If someone has been wearing the eye mask, or blindfold; what was it like being part of the discussions without being able to see?
  • What simple things could be done to make things easier for people with sight loss?