Test of accessibility certification program underway
A two-year field test is underway to create a program that will help congregations become more welcoming to people with disabilities.
EqUUal Access, in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Association, has developed a program that will allow congregations to work toward certification in the area of accessibility and inclusion.
EqUUal Access is a UU group that advocates for increased inclusion and access in congregations and throughout the UUA. A pilot test of the certification process is underway in ten congregations. The certification program is expected to be available to all congregations by 2015, said the Rev. Barbara F. Meyers, chair of the EqUUal Access Policy Committee, and coordinator of the certification effort.
The program, with the working title Disability/Ability Action Program, leads congregations through a process that begins with an assessment of how accessible it is. The program helps congregations learn about accessibility issues through worship, workshops, and other means. When the certification program has been completed a congregation can vote to be recognized by EqUUal Access.
The program is modeled after the UUA’s Welcoming Congregation and Green Sanctuary programs. Said Meyers, “We are highlighting the religious and spiritual dimensions of becoming certified. Our certification program addresses changing hearts and living our faith, not just building ramps and installing hearing loops, as important as those actions are.” For information about the program, contact Meyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.