Live your Unitarian Universalist values out loud. Make your year-end gift today!
As a result of spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, arthritis, polio, aging, and a variety of disabling conditions, 1.4 million people in the U.S. use wheelchairs or scooters. Other people with mobility impairments such as paralysis, muscle weakness, low stamina, poor coordination, nerve damage, or stiff joints, use crutches, walkers, braces, or canes to help them get around.
People may use different mobility aids at different times. Someone who uses a wheelchair or scooter may also be able to move about without assistance—another person may not be able to. Someone who uses a cane or walker one day, may use a wheelchair on another day. Do not make assumptions about a person's mobility.
Ramps, elevators, automatic doors, lowered (or raised) desks, tables, or countertops, lowered (or raised) water fountains, curb cuts, and parking that is flat and close to the entrance are some examples that create an atmosphere that is environmentally welcoming and accessible to someone with mobility limitations.
A complete environmental assessment/audit of your congregational campus will help you decide how to welcome people with mobility limitations.
Your local Independent Living Center may be able to answer your questions and/or help assess your campus.
Remember, everyone whether they live with a disability or not, is unique. Therefore, it is impossible to make universal statements about what will feel completely welcoming to everyone. As with all reciprocal relationships, it is always important and appropriate to ask the people being welcomed what will work for them.
Until you know someone with a mobility impairment, you may never have had any need to think about the key points that make relationships with someone who has mobility limitations easier and more relaxed. With the intent to create a welcoming and relaxed environment for everyone, here are some ground rules we should all keep in mind.
For more information contact access @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.
Sidebar Content, Page Navigation
More Ways to Search
Access Checklist: Planning Meetings and Conferences
Donate to Support This Program and the Ongoing Work of the UUA
Read or subscribe to UUA.org Updates for the latest additions to our site.
Learn more about the Beliefs & Principles of Unitarian Universalism, or read our online magazine, UU World, for features on today's Unitarian Universalists. Visit an online UU church, or find a congregation near you.