The UCC Disabilities Ministries Board of Directors has recently announced the release of an updated publication “Any Body, Every Body, Christ’s Body: A Guide for Congregations, Association, and Congregations for Becoming Accessible to All.”
Becoming Accessible to All (A2A) is a response to the growing need for churches to become accessible for all persons with disabilities. The UCC call to become accessible in all aspects of church life including worship, fellowship, and leadership was made clear when a resolution was adopted at the 25th General Synod. This resolution, “Called to Wholeness in Christ: Becoming a Church Accessible to All,” set forth the following activities:
(a) Establish Conference-level Inclusion Task Forces charged with needs assessment, planning, and education;
(b) Join the Accessible Congregations Campaign of the National Organization on Disability;
(c) Continue to make improvements in United Church of Christ buildings and facilities to achieve full physical accessibility;
(d) Encourage local churches to establish Inclusion Committees and/or Inclusion Coaches to help conduct any accessibility or inclusion evaluation and modify existing curriculum and practices when needed;
(e) Seek out and befriend mentors in the disabilities community, keeping in mind the slogan, “Nothing about us without us”;
(f) Consider ways to invite/include people with disabilities to participate in and lead worship services and other programming. This may involve hiring professional support or acquiring specialized technology.
This new publication provides information and resources that will guide congregations as they answer this call. It is available on the UCC Disabilities Ministries website. Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or to any of the board members listed on the UCCDM website.