Resources to Improve Disability Access
A parish Opens Doors by applying
the principles of universal design to building construction and
renovations. Universal design is the practice of adapting building
elements so that the space can be reasonably be used by all people. It
recognizes the diversity of human development, as well as changes
brought about by the aging process and variations in health.
The intentional effort to design with others in mind, involves both
long-term goals and short-term plans of action. Parishes also Open Doors in
clusters when they select physical spaces for events that are most
accessible. The National Catholic Partnership on Disabilities (NCPD)
offers these tools:
Access in Liturgy: Making Liturgical Ministries More Accessible to People with Disabilities - a webinar
Access to Liturgical Spaces: Welcoming ALL to this Place - a webinar
Accessibility is more than expensive modifications. It is
a new way of thinking using creative alternatives many of which are low
cost or no cost. Churches can take simple, effective and inexpensive
steps to make the buildings more physically accessible for people with
disabilities. St. Stephen Parish in Grand Island and S.S. Columba and Brigid in Buffalo have designed their altar space with a ramped access for people with mobility problems.
Also consult the following resources:
Architectural Modifications - offers guidance on constructing ramps, creating an accessible passenger drop‑off and parking spaces
Accessibility Creativity - offers creative alternatives to increase accessibility
Access Blessing - for use each time that the parish has taken another step toward greater accessibility.