Tools for auditing accessibility
Accessibility may seem like a newcomer to the issues that churches need to address, but we at ADN invite people of faith to think of accessibility as a new name for the very old practice of hospitality.
Beginning with the book of Genesis and running through the entire Bible, the practice of hospitality is assumed and required for God’s people.
The book of Ruth and Luke's parable of the Good Samaritan urge us to expand our definitions of neighbor – those with whom God calls us to share hospitality.
Even though religious activities may be exempt from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), providing access to church buildings and programs is a crucial first step to offering a hospitable welcome to all who might want to be part of the Body of Christ.
Why audit accessibility?
For people living with disability, barriers in the environment or in programs sometimes get in the way of participating fully in church life. These obstacles might be easy to remove, but they are often invisible to people who don't have a disability.
An accessibility audit or survey offers a way to bring these invisible barriers into full view. Fortunately, excellent survey tools designed especially for churches are available to expand awareness and prepare the way for modifying church facilities and programs for greater hospitality.