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


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!

Disability, Bullying–and You

This post comes from Rev. Lynda I. Bigler, of Oregon. Lynda is the current Chair of UCCDM.

Every school, every business, every church, every community has at least one bully in it. Bullying in childhood that remains uncorrected creates grown-up bullies. Young bullies impact the social development and self esteem of their victims and their social communities from the classroom to the sports team. Grown-up bullies use their bullying skills to intimidate others in search of power.  Grown-up bullies in church and offices drive out pastors and employees, damaging their adult victims in the same way young bullies damage their young victims.  No matter how old a bully is, his or her actions and words shape the lives of both their victims and their communities in negative, unhealthy ways.

Children and adults with disabilities comprise one of bullying’s largest victim pools. Because of this, UCCDM will offer on an ongoing basis some suggestions for helping communities address this issue.

In 2011 a small Iowa congregation held a community event to address bullying.  Invited as panelists were representatives from elementary, middle, and high schools from both their guidance and sports departments;  security personnel from the high school; a police officer; a mental health professional; the church pastor. A moderator asked each panelist to make a short statement. Afterwards panelists  were free to question each other.  Finally, the audience had the opportunity to question the panelists. People packed the pews for this 2-3 hour program.  Interestingly, some families began attending the church because they saw it as a place of refuge for their children, and a place where others cared about their concerns.

Perhaps this program is something you and your congregation can bring to your community.