We are committed to ensuring people with disabilities are full and equal participants in all activities of the Synod.Striving for this goal means engagement and advocacy with individuals, congregations and presbyteries, and a range of organisations beyond the Synod.
Since 2010, our Disability Inclusion Advocates have been involved in developing:
- The Disability Action Plan 2019-2022, in response to the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. (Easy English Disability Action Plan summary). These two versions complement each other and need to be read and considered as a whole: it is recommended you initially read the Easy English version.
- A mental health kit for congregations.
- A University of Divinity subject (Pastoral Care with People with Disabilities).
- The annual road trauma Time for Remembering
- The ‘Uniting CPE – The John Paver Centre’ for Clinical Pastoral Education.
For more information, contact Andy Calder on 03 9340 8844 or email@example.com
Disability Royal Commission
On May 21, Moderator Rev Denise Liersch released a pastoral letter highlighting the Church’s response to the federal Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
The Assembly has established a national Task Group, with each Synod required to coordinate a response. The Synod of Victoria and Tasmania’s Task Group includes representatives from congregations, Uniting VicTas, schools liaison and relevant Synod staff.
The Task Group has been producing resources and information about how the Church needs to respond to the Commission, and these have been circulated across the Synod.
Any person with disability who has experienced violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation, either within the Uniting Church or beyond, is encouraged to tell their story to the Royal Commission.
In drawing this to your community’s attention, you are encouraged to use both the Values Statement produced in Easy English and the short video People with Disability in the Community produced by Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability (VALiD)
Anyone affected by the Disability Royal Commission can access free, specialist counselling support through Blue Knot Foundation. Call 1800 421 468.
For further information contact Chairperson Rev (Deacon) Dr Andy Calder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 9340 8844.
Mental Health Kit
A Mental Health Kit for Congregations is available for download. The kit contains personal perspectives, worship resources, sermon starters, a list of community-based resources and checklists to help congregations better respond to people with mental health issues.
Called to be a Church for All
The Transforming Worship Circle has created a new liturgy that acknowledges both the experiences of exclusion and embrace for people with disabilities. To download the liturgy, click here.