Thursday, 29 October 2015

Disability aware?

One of the greatest challenges for those of us who do church is that of thinking about accessibility of services for those who might otherwise find a challenge through some form of disability.

All too often I find myself with people who think that being disability aware is testified to by the presence of a hand rail or a ramp - and it is indeed a start in the right direction; but it's not the ever the final word (especially if you have deaf people in the congregation!).

An induction loop is another great addition to church buildings these days, but I am often surprised at the number of people who tell me that this is not always turned on in their church. 'Sorry, couldn't hear what you said in the sermon, the loop wasn't working,' equals a blessing for those spared my sermon but exclusion (often by neglect). When did you last check your loop was working?) from an act of worship which, eventually, causes people to drift away.

Our little church building has a projector and screen for the services and this suits most people. But there are the words, in Bold on the 'Welcome'; screen, which state that for those having difficulty reading or seeing the screen, paper copies are available in 12pt and 18pt fonts. This message is reinforced by various of the members to newcomers who appear to be struggling. (There's always a tension between trying to offer support and potentially embarrassing someone - a careful balance called for here).

I have often thought about, and failed, learning to sign because it's a need that crops up from time to time. I have some of the basics and know of people I can call on to provide assistance so it's sort of sorted, but still on the 'want to' list.

Recently I've been working with a few different fonts and sizes to find out which work best for those who need large-print material and have come to a place where it is Arial and 18 point.

Having just completed a Mission Shaped Introduction course where I am, I thought I'd place a set of large print course member handouts HERE should anyone find them useful.

No comments: