Ms Trish Harris/Rev Vicki Terrell

16.  Ms Trish Harris, founding member of Disability, Spirituality and Faith Network, Aotearoa, New Zealandand Rev Vicki Terrell, Chairperson Disability, Spirituality and Faith Network, Aotearoa, New Zealand (1 hour long session)

 A two part elective:

(i) a practical resource that grew from experiences of exclusion 

(ii) learning to embrace—a small group that dreams big

  1. ‘Churches and faith communities need to do better’, someone in our group said. That was the driving force behind the book “Creating Welcoming Churches: a disability resource for faith communities”.    Produced in New Zealand in 2014 the resource includes personal quotes and accessibility guidance underpinned by disability theology and disability rights information. Warmly welcomed by faith and disability communities alike, this resource is now being produced in alternative formats.

Our presentation will talk about some of the practical considerations of producing resources in accessible formats in the internet age and ongoing benefits of this project. There’s even a trans-tasman link! We welcome questions and discussion. Copies of the resource will be available to view.

2.  Learning to Embrace—A Small Group That Dreams Big:   The Disability, Spirituality and Faith Network New Zealand Aotearoa is a long name for a small group.  Most of us have a lived experience of disability. In 2003 we hosted an international DSF conference, in 2008 we produced a book of reflections and insightful readings, in 2014 we produced a resource for faith communities (see (i)) and we continue to maintain an international presence.  How do we work with diversity of experience—both disability and faith?  What do we embrace (or try and embrace!) to do that? And what are we learning at the moment? We welcome questions and discussion following the presentation.