The best part of General Assembly for me was the time spent with other UUs. Nine of us worked at the EqUUal Access booth and I have included some reflections of theirs along with my own. I felt blessed to meet so many UUs who are committing to making their congregations more inclusive for people with disabilities. Most of the youth and young adults, President Peter Morales and several UUA Board members proudly wore our ribbons. We handed out EqUUal Access business cards with a QR code to the membership page. We demonstrated the operation and benefits of hearing loops.
We explained that EqUUal Access was more than ramps and hymnals. It's about inclusion and engagement of people in their UU faith communities. It's about changing attitudes and that does not require any capital investment.
We discussed concerns at the congregational level. The ones we heard most frequently were:
- providing a safe place for adults with mental disabilities,
- including children with disabilities in RE and worship,
- making it possible for people who are blind to fully participate in worship,
- improving accessibility of websites,
- using inclusive language,
- and publicizing accessible congregations.
We discussed ways to improve General Assembly including contacting the Center for Independent Living and the Mayor’s Office in advance so that people with disabilities can use local services.
We learned about a group of UU divinity school students who are PWDs starting their own EqUUal Access Caucus.
A more comprehensive report will be posted to the EqUUal Access website in the near future. Please contact us if you were at General Assembly or participated online to offer your perspectives.