Amenuo Khoubve: Amplifying voices of the hearing impaired community

Amenuo Khoubve. (Morung Photo)

Amenuo Khoubve. (Morung Photo)

Calls for inclusive Church practices

Morung Express News
Kohima | May 18

Amenuo Khoubve, a young hearing impaired girl bravely stood before the audience not just as an individual, but as a voice for countless others, the community of people with disabilities (PwDs), who struggle to have their voices heard. The event was the Global Accessibility Awareness Day, 2024, organised by the Nagaland State Disability Forum at the Hotel Japfü, Kohima, on May 18. ‘Accessibility in the church’ was the theme. 

Sharing her personal journey, through an interpreter, Khoubve said that growing up, as a hearing impaired, was filled with both obstacles and moments of resilience. “From an early age, we were confronted with the realisation that we experience the world differently than our hearing peers,” said Khoubve. 

Participating in social activities or gatherings posed significant challenges. Despite, she said they learned to persevere, adapt and find their own voice in a world designed for those without disabilities.

How she received baptism
Growing up, one of the challenges was attending and participating in church activities. While many like her are still facing this challenge, Khoubve said she was privileged to attend a school run by the Deaf Biblical Ministry Dimapur, where she first encountered Christ and received baptism.

“But there are many hearing-impaired and disabled persons in Nagaland who are yet to encounter the church,” she said.

Today, she and her friends regularly attend the Deaf Prayer Fellowship in Kohima, established in 2023, held twice every month. She encouraged anyone who knows of hearing-impaired individuals to spread the message and encourage them to be a part of the fellowship.

What can the Church do
Sharing the challenges and obstacles faced by the PwDs, even in the churches, due to lack of awareness, she believed that by fostering greater awareness and inclusive accessibility, the churches can make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities. 

Putting forth some strategies, which the Church can incorporate in their activities, she said that providing sign language interpreters, captioning videos, installing ramps, ensuring that sermons are easy to understand for individuals with cognitive disabilities, providing transportation options, creating groups and Bible studies, specifically for those with disabilities would create an environment of inclusivity without excluding anyone.

“Let us commit ourselves to building more inclusive communities where all are welcomed, valued and embraced, regardless of their abilities,” said Khoubve.