Is Your Congregation Ready to Explore Accessible to All (A2A)?

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The UCCDM encourages all setting of the United Church of Christ to be Accessible to All (A2A)!

New tools are NOW ready to help local congregations determine how accessible their programs and buildings are. (Accessibility is more than a ramp!) This tool is called the Church Building And Program Accessibility Audit. This church accessibility audit can be completed online (Church Building and Program Audit ONLINE). It is also available to be printed as a PDF (UCCDM Church Building and Program Audit 12 pt PDF), LARGE PRINT PDF (UCCDM Church Building and Program Audit 16 pt PDF), Word Document (UCCDM Church Building and Program Audit 12 pt WORD), and LARGE PRINT Word Document (UCCDM Church Building and Program Audit 16 pt WORD).

Once a congregation completes a building and program audit and has identified how to become more (or continue being) inclusive of people with disabilities or/and mental health concerns, the congregation may be ready to become Accessible to All (A2A). To become A2A a congregation completes an A2A Checklist. The checklist was revised in 2016 is available to be completed online (UCCDM A2A Checklist ONLINE)or printed as a PDF (UCCDM A2A Checklist PDF) or in LARGE PRINT (UCCDM A2A Checklist LARGE PRINT PDF).

Congregations that complete the A2A Checklist are added to the A2A Listing!

UCCDM June 2014 Update

Grace and Peace to those who may be interested to know about the work of the UCC Disability Ministries Board–Friends, UCC Members, UCC Clergy, UCC persons with disability and our ecumenical partners,

This is to provide you with an update of the work of the UCC Disability Ministry (UCCDM) Board of Directors since our last update published in February 2014.

At the UCCDM Annual Meeting last October, the Board identified three main goals for this year: strengthening relationships, strengthening the A2A (Accessible to All) program, and continuing our ecumenical work.

  • Relationships-The UCCDM Board of Directors continues to work to strengthen our relationships within the UCC. The national setting of the church developed a social media meme for “Inclusivity and Accessibility” as part of the March Fourth for justice campaign. UCCDM engaged March Forth via the UCCDM Facebook page and supporting Special Olympics’ “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign.
  • Relationships-The UCCDM Board of Directors has also been in dialogue with the national setting to encourage disability awareness and perspectives in the many communication of the national setting including columns such as ‘Dear Theo’ and ‘Sermon Seeds’.
  • Relationships-The UCCDM Board has been discussing how we may further engage in the denominational focus on literacy, perhaps highlighting issues specific to learning disabilities.
  • A2A (Accessible to ALL)-The A2A Subcommittee of the Board has received permission to update and revise the A2A resource entitled “Anybody, Everybody, Christ’s Body” and is developing criteria that will guide the redevelopment of this resource.
  • Ecumenical–UCCDM Vice Chair, Rev. Jeanne Tyler represented UCCDM/UCC at the National Council of Churches’ Christian Unity Gathering meeting in Washington D.C. the focus of the meeting was mass incarceration and the school to prison pipeline. Rev. Tyler was the only self-identified person with a disability at the meeting and reported that she was able to lift up the issues of mental health and learning disabilities as factors inseparable from the school to prison pipeline.

The UCCDM Board would also like to report that we have completed and/or continue to work on the following projects:

  • UCCDM Lenten Devotional was presented on uccdm.org. UCCDM sought original theological reflections for the Lenten season that would highlight theological issues via the disability/mental health lens.
  • UCCDM transferred the uccdm.org website to a new server to allow for increased security and features. The website has been somewhat reorganized, and content continues to be reevaluated for relevance. A resource section has been added to the website and will continued to be expanded.
  • UCCDM Board has started to make plans for UCCDM presence and involvement at Synod 2015.
  • The Kreyer Scholarship Committee is seeking leadership donations to grow the endowment funds as we seek to raise $34,000 by 2015 so that scholarships may be offered to persons with disability/mental health concerns preparing for authorized ministry.
  • Conversations about the next Widening the Welcome event have begun.
  • The Nominating Sub-Committee is developing the nomination process for the next class of UCCDM Board Members.
  • Board members and members of Conference Inclusion Teams saw that UCCDM and the A2A program had a presence at the Annual Gatherings of the Northern California/Nevada Conference, Rocky Mountain Conference, and the Southern California/Nevada Conference. (If you tabled with UCCDM information at another Conference please let us know.)

The UCCDM continues to partner with the UCC Mental Health Network. The UCCDM Board continues to serve as a resource to individuals, pastors, and congregations seeking information to improve their accessibility and inclusion. Individual UCCDM Board Members as well as individual UCC members continue to encourage local settings and conferences to increase their accessibility to and inclusion of persons with disabilities. We would love to hear about your efforts to include people with disabilities in the life of the church as well as to know what types of support you may need from the national setting.

May Christ’s Peace Abide with You,

Rev. Kelli Parrish Lucas, UCCDM Secretary

 

Ten Commandments for Being Around Users of Wheelchairs

A Reading the Signs column

I no longer recall which came first, the fall on an icy sidewalk that necessitated a lesson for Treasure in how to dog guide a walker-using partner or the timely Christmas letter from Rachel Scott. My friend of years is a retired nurse/instructor in gerontology who has mastered the graceful art of using a wheelchair.
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