An International Human Right Issue
Hearing loss is an International Human Right Issue. Persons with hearing loss disabilities face discrimination and barriers in many churches that restrict them from participating in society on an equal basis with others every day. They are ignored, shunned, and denied their rights to be included in church activities, such as Bible study, business meetings, prayer gatherings, and social events.
The protection guaranteed in other human rights treaties, and grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, should apply to all. Persons with disabilities have, however, remained largely ‘invisible,’ often sidelined in the rights debate, and unable to enjoy the full range of human rights.
In recent years, there has been a revolutionary change in approach, globally, to close the protection gap and ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy the same standards of equality, rights, and dignity as everyone else.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was adopted in 2006 and entered into force in 2008, signaled a ‘paradigm shift’ from traditional charity-oriented, nonmedical based approach to disability to one based on human rights.
The American Disabilities Act of 1990 was signed into law.
In 1993 the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) in North America went on record to heartily recommend full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). This is voluntary compliance. Religious organizations are not subject to the ADA, and it is still up to each church to agree to follow what the Synod recommends. Respect for hard of hearing people is still lacking in most churches.
The purpose of this website is to put an end to discrimination against people with hearing disabilities in the church. We must become hearing accessible in every department. To ignore our hard of hearing friends is to exclude them. If you exclude one hard of hearing person, you have eliminated them all.
Outside the church, more than fifty million Americans suffer hearing loss. One out of every five persons is hard of hearing. They are not full deaf nor speak sign language, but need some type of assistive help to be included in most church activities.
We are launching a campaign to end discrimination against friends with hearing loss.
Join our mailing list to let us know that you want to help.
© David M. Harrison, Advocate for hearing accessibility in the Church Author: Bill of Rights for Hard of Hearing
P.O. 3021 Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 624-1669