News from Denmark 2008-2012
Cordless writing interpreter
In the past few years special initiatives have been taken in the national church improving the possibilities for hearing-impaired people to participate in e.g. trips and journeys together with other members of the congregation: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark has since spring 2011 introduced a new technical facility in which the writing interpretation have become mobile and cordless and without start-up time. We have used the system on our trips for hearing-impaired people, most recently in August 2012. Together with a mobile loop system (FM equipment) the mobile writing interpreter has filled a need with the hearing-impaired person to participate on an equal footing – also in places without electricity.
(One pc with four iPads as extra monitors – cordless and wireless of course. Can be used on city walks, in nature, far away from any network – running on battery)
Loop system with battery
As far as is known it was the first time in Denmark that we launched the use of a traditional loop system at a funeral in a cemetery in July this year. Often it has a very low priority to provide hearing consideration by the grave. All things considered that is where the most important sentence is being said: From dust you shall rise again.
The new thing was that the loop system had been equipped with an inverter and a 12 volts battery making it possible to place it far away from electricity. The signs told the churchgoers where to stand in order to benefit from the loop system (being inside the loop).
Moreover, two small loudspeakers had been hooked up to the equipment so that people with a normal hearing were able to hear what was being said. Finally, we used a writing interpreter as described above with the cordless equipment with small monitors. There are many mobile loop systems available throughout the country, but usually people are not aware that with very small modifications these looop systems can be used outdoors, even without electricity.
(Two-in-One. Use a traditional portable loop-system and ad a battery and an inverter (sinus). Then you have extended the use of your loop-system from only inside to outside, too, far away from electricity and cars with batteries)
The number of contact pastors is stable in Western Denmark
In Denmark we have the so-called contact pastor (=”kontaktpræst”) arrangement in which a number of ordinary pastors have agreed to speak out for the hearing-impaired people in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark. We have had this arrangement since 1983.
Contact pastors are being specially trained so that they obtain a general knowledge about hearing-impaired people, which you cannot expect from ordinary pastors.
The term “contact pastor” means that a contact pastor should be the contact of the national church to the hearing-impaired people – and vice versa. The task of the contact pastor is to be a contributory factor in making the hearing-impaired people remain in the national church without being forced to go elsewhere.
The job as a contact pastor is unpaid, but the contact pastor has the opportunity to get leave and mileage allowance in connection with tasks for hearing-impaired people.
Despite the voluntariness we have succeeded in maintaining the number of voluntary contact pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark since the beginning of the arrangement, and we still have app. 40 contact pastors west of the Great Belt.
Søren Skov Johansen
Regional pastor for hearing-impaired people west of the Great Belt
Freising 25-29 August 2012