Hearing Device, Ramp, Restroom, and Worship Seating Guidelines
If we say we welcome all to the table – to the Body of Christ – but allow architectural barriers to remain in place, we are not the church we envision. If a physically open door is blocked by attitudes, our hearts and minds are not open. We cannot afford to deny ourselves fellowship with persons with disabilities, nor can we deny them church membership. We must intentionally develop more healthy attitudes and behavioral responses to persons with disabilities. A church that acknowledges it has barriers to full participation of people with disabilities and makes a commitment to begin the process of removing them is truly striving to become accessible.
Most requests for accessibility grants from the Commission on Disabilities are for the construction of ramps, renovation of restrooms, pew cuts, and purchase of personal hearing assistance devices. The guidelines given here provide basic information for your church as you make decisions regarding accessibility to your buildings and ministries.
Worship Seating Guidelines (pdf)
The worship seating guidelines are from pp. 37-39 of the Accessibility Audit for Churches: A United Methodist Resource Book about Accessibility prepared by the General Board of Global Ministries.
Bathroom Specifications (pdf)
Ramp Specifications (pdf)
Hearing Assistance Devices (pdf)