A Great Challenge
Around the world an estimated 70 million deaf people use sign language as their first language, commonly called “heart” language.
But of the 400 unique sign languages that exist only 10% have any Scripture at all.
No sign language in the world has a complete Bible, the closest to completion being the American Sign Language New Testament.
An estimated 285 million people on the planet are visually impaired, 14% of whom are registered blind.
But only 44 languages have the full Bible in Braille, mainly because transcribing and printing Braille Scriptures is a huge task and is very expensive – a full Braille Bible consists of more than 40 bulky volumes and costs around US$600 to print.
So the challenge is significant. But with God anything is possible. And the United Bible Societies (UBS) is working with a number of international partners to meet the needs of both of these relatively unreached people groups.
In fact, last year Bible Societies in 32 countries ran Braille projects to meet the Scripture needs of blind readers. Two languages received their first ever portions of Braille Scripture, in Uganda and India.
In Latin America, the Dios Habla Hoy version of the Spanish Bible was completed meaning that all 44 Braille volumes can now be printed on demand.
Technological advancements have helped to meet the need too, from new software developed by UBS to help Deaf translators and Braille transcribers, to Bible apps for mobile phones which have made Bible reading so accessible for everyone everywhere, whether they are hearing or sight impaired or not.
Please pray for UBS as they partner with Bible Societies, aiming to reach people all over the world who are unable to read the Bible because of visual or hearing impairments.