NCCI-IDEA ISL 2.0 Concludes, Ushering in Hope for Churches and the Hearing-Impaired Community

The National Council of Churches in India – Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (NCCI-IDEA) hosted a memorable valedictory event for its Indian Sign Language (ISL) 2.0 Batch on June 9th, 2024. This course, which commenced on March 23rd, 2024, saw the enthusiastic participation of 30 students from various regions of India, including the North, Northeast, Central, and Southern states. The course was led by Ms Y Madhurya, whose extensive experience and dedication as an interpreter and teacher of Indian Sign Language greatly benefited the participants. Under her guidance, the students showed great progress, culminating in a celebratory event that highlighted their achievements.

The online valedictory ceremony, held at 6 PM, was a significant occasion attended by students, trainers, and special guests. Out of the 30 enrolled students, 25 received merit certificates, recognising their hard work and commitment to learning ISL. Pastor Rushi from the Nagpur Deaf Fellowship graced the event as the Chief Guest. In his address, he expressed profound joy and appreciation for the efforts of the students in breaking down communication barriers by learning ISL. Rev. Asir Ebenezer, in his valedictory address, inspired the students to continue their journey with ISL, encouraging them to engage with the hearing-impaired community around them. His words were a call to action, urging this ISL batch to make inclusivity a personal mission. Additionally, on Monday, June 10th, five students residing in Nagpur were given certificates offline at the NCCI Nagpur office by the General Secretary.

Students shared touching testimonies, expressing how the three-month course not only taught them a new language but also boosted their confidence and heightened their awareness of inclusivity. They spoke about the transformative experience of learning ISL and the sense of accomplishment they felt. With the conclusion of ISL 2.0, NCCI-IDEA is now looking forward to the next chapter. The success of this course opens the way for ISL 3.0, inviting more individuals to embark on this rewarding journey. It could be your turn next to step into the world of the hearing-impaired community by learning their language and envisioning a more inclusive society. For more information on upcoming courses and how to enrol, follow NCCI’s website, and social media or write to us at Join us in making a difference by bridging communication gaps and promoting inclusivity through the learning of Indian Sign Language.


Rev. Ribin John
Executive Secretary

Digital Welcome Mats : Accessible Church Communications Network. An online workshop on Global Accessibility Awareness Day

The passion of churches towards promoting and actualising inclusion was revived at the GAAD workshop of the NCCI. Emphasising the heart of innovation is accessibility the participants were encouraged to cater innovative ideas for making digital accessibility a reality.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is observed to bring focus on digital access and inclusion. According to the Global Accessibility Awareness Day website, “The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access or inclusion and people with different disabilities.”

In line with this Global observance, the National Council of Churches in India’s Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment and Communications Department collaborated an online workshop on 15 May, 2024 themed “Digital Welcome Mats : Accessible Church Communications Network”. The teams of Communication and Disability from various churches and institutions join to receive insights on making church communication accessible to all.

Rev. Ribin John, Executive Secretary, NCCI Ecumenical Fora moderated the workshop and Mr. Nelason Nag, Program Executive, NCCI- Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompniment introduced Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) to all the praticipants. Ms Neelam Gaikwad, NCCI  Communications program executive spoke about practical strategies to address digital accessibility challenges and Ms. Smriti Priyansha, Document and Research Program Ececutive discussed case studies and identification of digital barriers faced by people with disabilities.

The expected outcome of this workshop was churches will become aware of the digital barriers that people with different types of disabilities face and will receive practical insights and strategies for overcoming these barriers. This will help create a barrier-free digital environment for all church attendees.

This events was not limited to awareness and engagement but also a commitment to pouring ceaseless efforts towards accessibility and prioritising inclusion at all steps.


Accompaniment in Action: NCCI-IDEA’s Ecumenical visit to Strengthen Disability Ministry

NCCI’s Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (NCCI-IDEA) is undertaking an important journey to enhance the ministry of disability within its member churches/organizations. During this transformative visit, the focus will be on engaging with key disability departments and helping member churches/organizations to establish their Disability Ministry, with a focus on the 4A areas: Audit, Accompaniment, Acknowledgement, and Advocacy.

Visit to CSI SEVA and DISHA Project

In the first phase, a meeting was organized with Church of South India’s Diaconal Ministry, CSI SEVA, and its DISHA project which coordinates disability works. On April 11th, 2024, an analysis was conducted and the Disability works happening through DISHA was discussed. A significant online meeting is planned that will bring disability coordinators from all dioceses of CSI to enhance, start, and amplify the Disability inclusion of the dioceses. The SEVA director, Rev. Navagnana Prasad, DISHA coordinator Dr. Jason, and the SEVA team collaborated closely with NCCI Ecumenical Fora Executive Secretary Rev. Ribin John at the CSI Synod, marking a promising step forward.

Engaging with ECI Evangelical Churches

On April 10th, 2024, IDEA visited the Evangelical Churches in India (ECI) to discuss and review the newly initiated disability ministry of the church. The ministry is coordinated by Rev. Wesley Jaya Sathya under the leadership of Rt. Rev. Kathiroli Manickam. The visit was productive and fruitful, with the Bishop offering visionary support towards enhancing disability inclusion within the church community. Plans were made for a pastors’ retreat within ECI to sensitize and empower them towards disability inclusion. This will pave the way for a more understanding and inclusive congregation.

Collaboration with UELCI for Disability Ministry Expansion

Discussion with Ms. Beryl Logan, the Disability Coordinator of United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India (UELCI), centred on inspiring all 14 Lutheran Churches under UELCI to initiate disability ministries that cater to their unique contexts. In the month of May, a meeting is being planned at the NCCI headquarters to kickstart this collaborative effort. The aim is to bring together leaders/representatives of Lutheran Churches who are committed to promoting disability inclusion in their respective Lutheran Churches.


Rev. Ribin JohnExecutive Secretary, NCCI- Ecumenical Fora