Report from Church of Sweden – August 2012
Today there is no organised work for hard of hearing people in Sweden.
Earlier this kind of issues was organized under “Center of disabilities in church of Sweden”. Contact person for that center was Turid Apelgård. The center is now closed and there is no one responsible for the questions about hard of hearing on the national level in the church.
In different dioceses there has been some activities during the years. For example has Skara diocese had a project during 3 years for hard of Hearing.
(For more information contact Mikael Henning)
Lund’s diocese has today a part time pastor working with hard of hearing.
(For more information contact Beata Sandell)
Report from Lunds and Härnösands dioceses of the Church of Sweden – March 2018
In the society of our time the climate for people with disabilities is getting harder and hard of hearing people have problems getting new jobs. This depends partly on the fact that employers are required to pay for rehabilitation and some technical installations assisting an impaired employee, costs, which they do not want to carry. Today almost all deaf-born children get a CI. Most parents want that their children to go to local integrated classes where they live. This means that ever less children go to special schools for deaf and hearing impaired children. One exception is Örebro, where there are colleges for deaf and hard of hearing children. A lot of deaf people stay in the city after having finished school. The Church of Sweden in Örebro has a lot of activities for people using sign language, probably one of the largest communities for deaf people in our country.
In the diocese of Härnösand
only one single person is now working with sign language, rev. Johan Selin. Worships are held at Härnösand, Örnsköldsvik and Östersund. Deacon Akar Holmgren of Härnösand’s diocese works with questions concerning the miniroty languages (Finnish, Meänkieli (a local language in northern Sweden, origining from Finnish), Sign language and northern as well as southern Sami language).
There is, however, no money and no strategy, neither on a national level nor in the dioceses. In every discussion we have had, they say that it is now a issue for the local communities. In the local communities the issue seldom gets any focus. There are however right some contact about disabilities with the national Church Assembly. Ingrid Stillström and Mikael Henning visited the person in charge a report about the situation for Hard of Hearing in the church. We shared our experiences from IVSS and from our own lives as hard of hearing within the Church.
In Lund’s diocese they have saved money by letting less people work with the sign language. That means fewer sign language worships, and they now have only a part time pastor working with deaf people and hard of hearing.