The following AIM (Accessibility and Inclusivity Ministry) actions have been taken to assure that no one is excluded from full participation in the life of the Meeting House:
Our Sanctuary, including the chancel, Fellowship Hall and religious education classrooms are all fully accessible to those using wheelchairs or having limited mobility. We have two restrooms that are designed to be used by people with limited mobility. We also have an accessible automatic door at the front entrance to our Meeting House that can be used by people using wheelchairs and we have wheelchairs available to anyone who may need one. There are 15 handicapped parking spaces directly adjacent to the entrance, an elevator enabling access to Fellowship Hall, and pew cuts to accommodate wheelchairs or chairs. We are on CT Transit routes 58 Albany Ave and 56 Bloomfield Ave (sadly no Sunday service), and 153 Flatbush/Copaco stops a half mile away at the University of Hartford. The ministers’ study and office are fully accessible.
Large print hymnals and Orders of Service are always available. Room signage is in Braille. Please ask at the Welcome Table or any usher for assistance. We are planning to increase the lighting in the Sanctuary to make it easier to see what’s going on.
There is a hearing loop in the Sanctuary. The loop can be used by anyone with a T-switch on their hearing aid. Hearing assistance devices are also available at the welcome table in the foyer that can be used by anyone with poor hearing. Our sound system in the Sanctuary is connected to all of the microphones that are used during a worship service or any other event or meeting that is held in that space. During all church meetings and workshops in the Library, the Chapel or any other room in the Meeting House, anyone wishing to speak from the audience is strongly encouraged to use the portable microphones so those who are hard of hearing are not excluded.
A significant number of our members and friends at USH have mental health issues of one kind or another. Our church is particularly supportive of all of them. It’s a safe place to be themselves and some have spoken publicly during a worship service. People with mental health issues are members of nearly all of the committees in the church including the Board of Directors. One of our members was a past president of the organization that advocates for disabilities in our denomination called EqUUal Access and another is a long-time member of its mental health caucus.
A disability support group open to anyone in our church who wants to participate meets once a month online.
We encourage our members and friends not to use perfume or other scents when they come to the Meeting House. We also use odorless candles in our worship services.
Service animals are welcomed in the Meeting House.
Children with Special Needs
If you want your child to participate in the religious education program and feel that they may require special accommodation due to learning disabilities or behavioral issues. If you have questions or concerns, you are welcome to contact Annie Witzler email@example.com so the best possible arrangements can be made.
Pastoral care is available to all members. To help build a compassionate and caring community, the Caring Network volunteers provide its services to all members, including people with a disability, and their families.
Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry Resources from EqUUal
These resources and connections now regularly available for Unitarian Universalists who self-identify as living with disability. If you are a person with a disability, you can go to the EA website to find the weekly theme and the active links to join all connections by Zoom: http://www.equualaccess.org/connect-online/
· Tuesdays @ 3:00 pm Eastern Time: Theme Chat (with an EqUUal Access facilitator)
· Thursdays @ 8:00 pm Eastern Time: Oasis (worship service/spiritual gathering by/for disabled UUs led by EqUUal Access volunteers, ministers, seminarians)
· Fridays @ 1:00 pm Eastern Time: Craft & Chat (bring your latest craft project/idea and join in relaxed conversation– with an EqUUal Access facilitator)
· Individual Pastoral Conversation with a UU minister (by appointment)
Pastoral Conversation appointments are available with Rev. Helen McFadyen or Rev. Barbara Meyers. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to arrange a private Zoom or telephone call.