da-edomi.org header

Why Be Accessible?

Way to Make Your Parish Accessible

Accessibility Resources

Accessibility Survey

Awareness Poster

Who Are People with Disabilities?

Relating to People with Disabilities

Accessible Congregations
Campaign

Worship Service Books

Ushers: Ministers of Hospitality

 

 
Information for Congregations

ACCESSIBLE CONGREGATIONS CAMPAIGN

The Accessible Congregations Campaign is a project of the Religion and Disability Program of the National Organization on Disability (N.O.D.) and seeks the commitment of congregations to include people with all types of disabilities as full and active participants. Houses of worship of all faiths are being enlisted in the campaign.

An Accessible Congregation acknowledges that it has barriers to the full participation of people with disabilities and makes a commitment to begin removing them. An Accessible Congregation commits to three principles:

In our congregations, people with disabilities are valued as individuals, having been created in the image of God.

Our congregation is endeavoring to remove barriers of architecture, communications and attitudes that exclude people with disabilities from full and active participation.

People, with and without disabilities, are encouraged in our congregation to practice their faith and use their gifts in worship, service, study and leadership.

Working with N.O.D.'s Religion and Disability Program costs nothing. The Accessible Congregations information packet and commitment certificate are free. Obviously, a church committed to removing barriers to full participation of people with disabilities will incur costs. There is no specific timetable for when these costs will be incurred, though we hope that barriers will be removed as soon as is feasible. The costs incurred can often be raised from a caring congregation or some other entity.

Please note that few churches have reached the "Promised Land" of total access and welcome. This is an ongoing process, but the Accessible Congregations Campaign seeks to identify and certify the full range of congregations - from those newly alert to disability issues to those which are fully architecturally and programmatically accessible. These congregations are being singled out for their commitment to action, not their achievements. Intention, then, is the important thing

Finally, remember that people with disabilities have gifts and talents to share with their congregations. The sooner a congregation is accessible, the sooner the person with disabilities can lend his or her talents and abilities to the congregation.

Ten Things You Should Know About the Accessible Congregations Campaign

  1. The Accessible Congregations Campaign (ACC) seeks to gain the commitment of congregations of all faiths to include people with all types of disabilities as full and active participants. It is sponsored by the Religion and Disability Program of the National Organization on Disability.
  2. The theme of the Accessible Congregations Campaign is "Access: It Begins in the Heart."
  3. The campaign seeks to enlist congregations of all faiths and is based on the scriptural understanding that all people, with and without disabilities, are created in the image of God.
  4. The campaign seeks to identify and certify the full range of congregations - from those newly alert to disability issues to those which are architecturally and programmatically accessible. Our goal is to open hearts, minds and doors.
  5. An Accessible Congregation acknowledges that it has barriers (both physical and attitudinal) to the full participation of people with disabilities and makes a commitment to removing them.
  6. Congregations need not be perfect. They do need to make the commitment to action.
  7. To join the campaign, a congregation must commit to using the gifts and talents of people with disabilities in worship, service, study and leadership. A congregation then completes and returns the Commitment Form to Lorraine Thal, Coordinator, Accessible Congregations Campaign at N.O.D., 910 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006.
  8. N.O.D. will then send the congregation a certificate suitable for display.
  9. Joining the ACC costs nothing. The brochure, information packet and commitment certificate are free.
  10. Our website displays a listing, by state, of the first 2,000 committed congregations

 

 


Home
| Information for Congregations | Assistance for People with Disabilities | Bullying | Links | About Us

Disability Awareness Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
Contact
The Rev. Chuck Swinehart chswinehart@gmail.com

 

Contact Us by email da-edomi.org