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“It has become my constant companion!”

As a leader of a church group for adults with learning difficulties, I immediately saw the potential of the NIrV Accessible Edition New Testament – and it has become my constant companion!

While some of our adult members could read, the text of a traditional Bible was too small, the sentences were too long and, there were too many complex and unfamiliar words. The NIrV Accessible Edition has transformed their ability to read the Bible like they wanted to.

For those who couldn’t read, we have been using the simpler text of the Accessible Edition, to provide a sequence of visual symbols so that they can ‘read’ them along with us. Two people with visual impairments were able to follow the text read to them more easily than the regular Bible text.  When we introduced them to the audio version, they loved it.

For the first time EVERYONE in that group has access to the Bible for themselves, and we can read it together. Many have also asked for a copy to take home.

The group with their Bible

The group with their Bible

One of those people was Stefan.  He reads the Bible himself at home and loves the fact that he can talk about what he has read. He finds it much easier to follow and knows where to find his place.  He said that this Bible was making it so much easier for him to read God’s Word.   Stefan is on my team that delivers training to churches and conferences about making church accessible for people with learning difficulties and he loves to tell people about his Bible reading.

As Christians, we talk about the importance of accessing God’s Word. There are people working hard at translating the Bible into so many tribal and minority languages – so people can have God’s Word in their own language, all over the world. 

I am so glad Biblica thought about the 17% of our society who have a learning disability, dyslexia, sight impairments and other needs that make reading a regular Bible difficult. So many have been forgotten about. So many have sat in church pretending to look at the Bible but being unable to read it or understand the complex language. This Accessible Bible is a Bible for any age and many different abilities.

I have given copies to many people that I have met in different places – church leaders, children’s workers, parents andchildren. When I worked with the Diocesan Children’s & Young People Co–ordinators, they saw its potential straight away.

“I love the Accessible Bible you gave me. I would say that I mostly take it out and about with me to show people that I go to visit in parishes and because it’s so accessible, I often recommend that they invest in a copy so they could ask a child to deliver the Bible reading for a service without them needing to have practiced. I also regularly use it when I’m planning an all age worship as the language used helps to make the Bible passage meaningful to everyone. I’m in the process of planning some training for a church on all age worship where the team we’re delivering the training to includes children (youngest age 9) so I’ll definitely be taking my Accessible Edition along to that!”

Sarah Earnshaw – Diocese Co–ordinator

I recently moved churches and decided that from the out–set I was going to carry my Accessible Bible with me. Already, a dyslexic woman, an autistic child and the children’s Ministry leader have asked for a copy.  I keep a stock of them to give away for just this reason. You never know who might be struggling to read or understand the Bible.  Let’s get these Bibles in our churches and make it normal to read form the NIrV version – there is no difference in the message!  Making the Bible accessible, makes Jesus accessible!

 

By Lynn McCann