Church accessibility

A letter I wrote to the parish priest of our goddaughters after a short conversation on the subject during coffee hour after Divine Liturgy at their Church recently (and some subsequent research on the Internet):

Dear Fr. A.:

When my wife Margaret and I visited a while back you and I had talked about just how one might proceed to make a Church building accessible. I spent a few hours
looking at this matter this last week and came up witha few websites and some thoughts, which may not be complete.

Of course, the Parish as a whole must be convinced that the expense of making a Church accessible is the will of God and thus worth it. And then there must be
those who get behind it and see to it that a Church Accessibility Fund not only gets established, but also gets continual attention. And there will have to be
some people gifted in practical realms which will make wise decisions as to who will get the work done- financing, architects, contractors, etc.

And of course the Parish Council will have to decide just how thorough accessibility will be as to ramps, lifts, and elevators, bathroom remodeling, etc.

Here are some websites of Orthodox Christian Parishes that are at some stage of the process of wrestling with Church accessibility (that I found):
1.
http://www.orthodoxpueblo.org/index.html
2. http://www.stmichaeluoc.org/Bulletin-20071014.htm
3. http://www.stbasilschurch.org/
4. http://holytrinity-holycross.org/
5. http://www.uocc-stelia.ca/history/detailedhistory.html (see 1992)

Here are some Philadelphia architects with some familiarity with Church accessibility issues: http://www.campbellthomas.com/bios/bob_thomas.htm
http://www.aiaphiladelphia.org/find/profile.cfm?id=96

Here is an Architectural firm with some thoughts on accessibility:
http://www.beroarchitecture.com/BA915.ChurchAccesibility.34501.htm

Here are some articles and checklists concerning Church accessibility from non-Orthodox Christian sources, which could be helpful:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/yc/2007/006/1.15.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/yc/2006/002/11.32.html
http://www.joniandfriends.org/accessibility_checklist.php

Of course a contractor would have his preferences, but here are some commercial ramp, lift, and elevator providers anyway (I’m sorry, but I have no idea which
are better and which are worse):
http://www.wheelchairlift.com/
http://www.rampsolutions.net/church-wheelchair-ramps.htmlhttp://www.eastcoaststairlifts.com/index.html
http://www.wlprice.com/Concord.html
http://www.handilift.com/ (source of picture)
http://www.accesslifts.com/index.html
http://www.tkaccess.com/homeAccessibility.asp

I hope you find something here helpful. God’s Peace, Bill (Ephrem) Gall

1 Response to “Church accessibility”


  1. 1 Handi-Lift August 19, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Thanks, Bill, for writing this letter. We are so glad that people are advocating for accessibility rights and needs in the Church. Handi-lift is here to support you. Please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can help!

    Like


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