For the past five years the Emmanuel Centre has hosted seminarians from St Charles’ Seminary in Guildford for 12 weeks for three hours a week.
During that time the seminarians listen to people with disabilities, their families and carers about what disability means in the everyday world.
They became familiar with community documents, acts and attitudes to people with disabilities and they also studied the Bible and relevant Church documents.
An important part of their time at the Emmanuel Centre has been learning Auslan each week.
When the time comes for these men to be ordained priests they will be better equipped to offer ministry with people with disabilities and deaf and hard of hearing people.
Over the 12-week course the Perth seminarians will meet people with disabilities, carers and people who work with people with disabilities.
They will hear their stories, share their highs and lows and come to a better understanding of the place of people with disabilities in the plan of God for his Church.
It is amazing how once one accepts that we all belong to the Body of Christ, then facing people with disabilities is not so daunting.
In fact, it is exciting because making access possible demands a creativity that often surprises all those involved.
The Emmanuel Centre is prepared to help anyone who wants to demonstrate that being part of the Body of Christ is not just a pious platitude.
For more information, contact Barbara Harris at the Emmanuel Centre on 9328 8113 (voice); 9328 9571 (TTY); 9227 9720 (fax); or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.