Wheelchair accessibility strategy?

Not enough church buildings are accessible to people in wheelchairs. Often, we say we’re accessible, but it’s just not true. Here’s my favorite test: could a person in a wheelchair celebrate the Eucharist? If not, your church is not fully accessible. A decision has been made about who counts in the Body of Christ, and the answer is “not people in wheelchairs.”

The parish I serve fits into this category. We have some ramps, but we’re not quite there yet. Our budding campaign to work on our buildings will vastly improve the situation in our Parish House. Our church building (across the street) has a ramp. You can get in the door, if your wheelchair is small enough to fit on the non-ADA-compliant ramp. Then we have a nice spot for you. On the side of the church. Out of view. Oh, and you can’t come to the Holy Table to receive communion. But we’ll bring it to you. Do we value people in wheelchairs? Sure, but not as much as we could. What’s it going to take? Gizmodo knows.

This might do the trick.

I think if a few people showed up for church in these things, people might take notice.

(For the humor-impaired: I’m serious about the part where we need to be more serious about inviting people with wheelchairs into our churches. I am not advocating that wheelchair users torch buildings where they’re not fully welcomed.)

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2 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    I too feel that the church is not wheel chair compliant. The ramps are too small. Maybe some people are turned off of the fact that they park in the back and have to go up a hill to the front of the hall for coffee hour as well. All I know is that in the renaissance compaign hopefully and praying hard that we do raise the funds to get our church and hall up to code. It would make praying to GOD a lot better and with a larger community that we can service. God Bless and Good Luck with the campaign.

  2. Steven says:

    Our’s is becoming a more accessible church. One can now enter the church, have access to a bathroom just off the nave, and receive Communion at the side altar to which all may come. We moved from drifting in that direction to a more intentional effort following my own several months stint in a wheelchair. The chancel and high altar are still not accessible and may never be. Sometimes the building wins

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