A Lent reflection

Stories | March 28, 2024

Expanded Communities in low to middle income countries. 

During this season of Lent, we are reflecting on the theme of expanded communities #ExpandedCommunities. Expanded communities are moved by the love of Jesus. They see his arms stretched wide on the cross; expanding love that includes all people. Mobilised by this love, expanded communities continually adjust and make room to include more people. 
Expanded communities are not only mobilised by the wide expansion of Jesus’ love but it’s profound depths. These depths were portrayed so poignantly in Jesus’ journey towards the cross, culminating in his death. 
People with disabilities are often prevented from being integral members of their communities. This reality is exacerbated for those living in low-to-middle income countries.  
As Jesus’ love is deep, expanded communities in low-to-middle income countries, dig deep to progress towards disability inclusion. They recognise that progress is a continual journey of identifying and removing barriers. There are four types of barriers they look out for. 
Attitudinal barriers: Negative attitudes about people with disabilities and their capabilities are excluding them from their community. 
Physical barriers: The lack of ramps, handrails, accessible toilets and transport. 
Communication barriers: The lack of hearing aids, braille or easy to read language or print prevents the inclusion of people with disabilities. 
Legislation barriers: The absence of policies or laws that mandate the inclusion of people with disabilities. For example, the absence of legislation which mandates the right of children with disabilities to access education. 
Digging deeper still, expanded communities consult people with disabilities, who possess experiential knowledge of the barriers that need to be addressed. The election of people with disabilities to leadership roles is ensured so that they can influence for access and inclusion in their community. 
CBM Australia supports communities to expand to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. 
As we approach the cross on Good Friday, CBM Australia supports communities to expand to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. 

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