In order to make their services more accessible, a small Denver church is providing Braille materials to worshipers with visual impairments.
Each Sunday, Jewel Christian Reformed Church in Denver, Colo., creates five binders containing the order of service, all songs, and litanies embossed in Braille. Extra copies are available for visitors.
Marlene Kaiser, a member who has visual impairments, said, “The services are more meaningful. In the past I’ve been to a church where I don’t know the words to the songs; don’t know what’s going on. They kind of sit you in a corner and forget about you. If you don’t know what’s going on, you don’t feel like you belong.”
Five years ago, Rev. Gerald Vander Hoek was considering buying an embosser to create the material for one of the church’s longtime members. He discovered that a friend of the church, Marvella Fresquez, owned her own embosser and was willing to donate her time to help create the materials.
Five years later the church continues to produce the binders for only the cost of the paper.
“Seeing the joy that [people with visual impairments] had in being able to see the order ahead of time and know where it’s going, being able to participate in all the songs, and all of the litanies, made it all worthwhile,” Vander Hoek said.