Recently we interviewed Revd Steve Jones, Birmingham's Diocesan Disability Adviser about disability, inclusion and what churches can practically do to make their spaces more accessible and welcoming to everyone.
Joel: Some people would argue that to treat disabled people with dignity means giving ‘no special treatment’. What are your thoughts on this?
Steve: “I totally agree with this statement, which may come as a surprise to some, but it needs to be viewed in the proper context. I also believe that we shouldn’t give ‘special treatment’ to people based on their gender, race, sexual orientation, economic status, education, family background or indeed their religion.
We should always seek to provide an environment and culture that allows everyone to strive to reach their full potential and to fully be able to use the gifts given to them, whatever those gifts might be.
I’m not convinced that by setting laws, rules and regulations which dictate behaviours are the way to develop and encourage a fully inclusive society."