Disability & Accessibility

Accessible Outdoor Gathering for Standing on the Side of Love.

Unitarian Universalists (UU) are committed to welcoming and affirming people of all abilities.

Nearly 50 million people (1 in 5 of the U.S. population) in the United States have a disability—visible or invisible, public or private. For everyone, whether having a disability or not, the environment in which we live, learn, play, sing, work, meditate, reflect, and pray must feel welcoming in order for everyone to grow and thrive.

Looking for an accessible congregation in your area? Our online directory lists congregations that are wheelchair accessible or have assisted listening devices. If there are other considerations that would enable or enhance your participation, please contact a congregation near you with your specific needs.

Ways to Make Your Congregation More Accessible

EqUUal Access: a UUA Affinity Organization

EqUUal Access promotes equality and access for Unitarian Universalists with disabilities.

Read their reflection paper "Mental Health Issues and Recommendations" (PDF, 30 pages).

Resources for Children

  • Crip Camp Curriculum -Accessibility was an organizing principle in the way we wrote these lesson plans. They are designed to be changed, taken apart, put back together in new ways, and generally used in ways that are useful to the people you are facilitating for. There is no one right way to learn and there is no one way to use this curriculum. We have created a learning experience for educators who may not have full content expertise, yet have strong facilitation skills, to help participants critically think and evaluate the world they live in together.
  • Teachable Moments (PDF, 12 pages), Devorah Greenstein and Sofia Betancourt (2005), Identity-based Ministries Staff Group, UUA.
    An assortment of activity sheets to begin in-depth conversations about our first principle.
  • Webinar: State of the Art Practices in Inclusive Religious Education From innovative ideas within intergenerational worship settings, typical children’s programming embedded with sensory solutions and great equipment and processes, and setting up support structures around specific children and families, discover what questions congregations are asking and what cutting-edge solutions they have put in place when including children of varied abilities.

Accessible Buildings

  • Removing Barriers (PDF, 68 pages): Planning Meetings That Are Accessible to All Participants, North Carolina Office on Disability and Health (2005), Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina.
    Basic guidelines and strategies to help organizations make their meetings accessible and welcoming to people with disabilities. The guide includes illustrations and a checklist to aid meeting planners in creating an inclusive event.
  • Accessible Faith (PDF, 56 pages)A Technical Guide for Accessibility in Houses of Worship, Elizabeth Patterson and Neal Vogel (2004), Retirement Research Foundation, Chicago, IL.
    A guide for congregations interested in enhancing accessibility for people with disabilities. Information includes ways to navigate building-related code requirements; identify user-friendly design solutions; provide technical guidance.
  • Accessibility Touchstones (PDF, 17 pages): Eight Useful Resources for Your Congregation’s Accessibility Journey, Devorah Greenstein, Identity-based Ministries Staff Group, UUA.
    Accessibility is a journey, and these eight brief resources, developed in collaboration with UUs with disabilities, include all sorts of information to help a congregation as it moves along the path to becoming an inclusive congregation.
  • Making Your Website Accessible
  • Sample Service Dog Policy

Subscribe to the Access-L Email List, An open forum to meet other people with and without disabilities who are interested in matters relating to accessibility, ableism, and ability/disability.

UUA Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry AIM Program Logo

The Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry (AIM) credentialing program is a congregational program focused on welcoming, embracing, integrating, and supporting people with disabilities and their families in our congregations.