Be Disability Aware and Friendly
Perhaps you would please spare a few minutes to think about the events, meetings, and services you get involved in organising:
a) Could somebody in a wheelchair get in, get around inside easily, and use the loo, without having to ask for help?
b) What about somebody who just has difficulty getting around, like me?
c) Could someone who is blind or partially sighted do so, and could they understand what is going on, e.g., could you provide large print, Braille or taped versions of paperwork and presentations? Do you always use a non-serif font? How will they know who else is in the room?
Could someone who is deaf or hard of hearing follow what is happening? e.g. do you provide a loop system for people with hearing aids? Could you get a signer?
What would you do if someone who is deaf/blind turned up?
You never know who might come to a public event, or want to use your service.
How do you think someone with a learning disability would cope?
And providing refreshments, even coffee, means you have to consider quite a few things.
This obviously doesn’t cover every disability/impairment you will come across e.g. involving people with mental health problems needs a lot of thought, but if you get these things right you are well on the way to being accessible.
I’m always glad to help, so come and have a chat. If I don’t know the answer, ‘I know a man who does’, as they say
Great Yarmouth Borough Disability Forum
|I encourage website users to take up Lindsay's offer and find out all you can so that you can make your church, fellowship or group a really welcoming place for those with disabilities.
Christian disability ministries that can help you with information and resources are: Torch Trust for the Blind (http://www.torchtrust.org) , Causeway PROSPECTS(http://www.prospects.org.uk) for those with learning disabilities, and Through the Roof (http://www.throughtheroof.org).
Premier Radio, the London based Christian radio station, now broadcasts a weekly programme called Insight aimed at people who have disabilities or people who are just interested and want to make a difference.
Hosted by blind presenter Marilyn Baker, Insight is broadcast Saturday nights at 9pm and deals with many of the issues mentioned above.
The first edition was broadcast on the eve of Disability Sunday (October 7 2007) and featured Paul Dicken, the founder of Through the Roof and Disability Sunday and others from Torch Trust and Prospects Causeway talking about how they were raising the profile of disabled people in churches.
In this area you can listen online at: http://www.premier.org.uk/player.cfm or by selecting Sky Digital 0123, Virgin Media 968 or Freeview 725 on an appropriate receiver.
Previous editions of the programme will soon be available on CD or by download from the Torch Trust for the Blind website.