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Statement and recommendations from EDAN Bangalore workshop

By the participants of an International Workshop on Disability Discourse for Theological Colleges held in India.

28 May 2006

We, the participants, of the International Workshop on Disability Discourse for Theological Colleges held from May 22-28, 2006 at Ashirvad, Bangalore, India recognize the urgency of addressing the concern of persons with disabilities (PWD) in the church and society. We acknowledge that this issue has not been given due attention in theological education and the ministry of the church. Cultural prejudices, exclusive or negative theological perspectives, social stigmas and taboos have often led to the exclusion and isolation of PWD. A critical first step towards a more inclusive church would be a transformation in the attitudes of the leaders and members of the church including the theological community. To achieve this goal, theological institutions have a significant role to play by including this concern in the curriculum and cultivating commitment to the same in the ministry.

We, therefore, make the following recommendations to our ecumenical partners, Senate of Serampore College (University), theological institutions and churches.

The Ecumenical Partners:

  1. To spread and strengthen the work of Ecumenical Disability Advocacy Network (EDAN) among ecumenical bodies at the national level in different countries.

  2. To facilitate the organization of awareness and capacity building workshops, consultations, and refresher courses for theological communities and church leaders.

  3. To make scholarships available for equipping theological teachers.

  4. We request EDAN and ETE to encourage and support endeavours for publishing theological literature on the subject and to facilitate the articulation of theology from the perspectives of the disabled.

The Senate of Serampore College (University):

  1. To incorporate the disability discourse in the new curriculum at the graduate level.

  2. To consider and approve the two draft syllabi prepared by the workshop.

  3. To organize staff institutes for equipping theological teachers.

  4. To make scholarships available to PWD for theological studies.

  5. To encourage and support endeavours for publishing theological literature on the subject and to facilitate the articulation of theology from the perspectives of the disabled.

 

The Theological institutions:

  1. To admit PWD in theological education

  2. To make scholarships available for PWD

  3. To make infrastructure accessible to PWD

  4. To include the disability discourse in their theological educational programme.

  5. To encourage the teaching staff to equip themselves with regard to the concerns of PWD

 

The Churches:

  1. To give attention to disability concerns in its ministry.

  2. To create an environment for PWD to participate fully in the life and ministry of the church.

  3. To support PWD in undertaking theological studies and employing them in the ministry of the church.

  4. To make infrastructural accessible for PWD.

  5. To provide care services to PWD whenever necessary.

  6. To join hands with other agencies like NGOs and Govt. departments in addressing the concern of PWD in the wider society.

 

Issued by

The Participants of International Workshop on

Disability Discourse for Theological College

Organized by ETE-WCC/CCA, EDAN and SATHRI

At ASHIRVAD, Bangalore

May 22-28, 2006