Jennifer McKeague is much loved in her Northern Ireland community, because she’s kind and gentle with a great gift of hospitality. She also has Down syndrome – a genetic disorder resulting in intellectual disability and developmental delays.
That means trying to find the right Bible for Jennifer has been extremely difficult, as her mother, Ida, explains:
“We’re all made in God’s image, and everyone needs access to the Word of God.
“I think at times, ‘I’ve got it!’ and then realize that no, [this Bible] is still too complicated. The print’s too small and the lines run into each other because Jennifer suffers from a stigmatism.”
Lindsey Holley, area executive director for Biblica Europe, shares how this is a common problem:
“In our secular community, so much work is being done to serve people with an intellectual disability, visual impairments, and lower literacy levels. But the Church has been so far behind to expect people with additional needs to pick up a traditionally formatted Bible and engage it.
“At Biblica, helping people access the Word of God is our whole mission. It has been so exciting to present the Word of God in a format that really is accessible to those with additional needs.”
Dr. Ian Dickson, ambassador for the Accessible Bible, explains what’s different: “One of the things is language that makes things clearer. The color of the paper [helps] those with visual impairment, and the font is clear.”
“I like it,” says Jennifer, who can now read the Scriptures for herself and carry her own Bible to church, just like her mom and dad do.
“It gives her a sense of belonging, and she doesn’t have to be read to,” says Ida. “This is the first Bible that we can say, ‘Yes, we’ve finally got it’ – and we’re delighted!”
Thank you for helping to make this much-needed Accessible Bible available to many marginalized people, so they can fully engage God’s Word!