The primary goal of the People with Disabilities Task Group is to enable our congregation to become engaged, educated, and informed advocates for members and their families and for others living with disabilities.
We provide hands-on experiences that will enrich the lives of congregants and help them understand and appreciate the needs of people living with disabilities. These experiences will help our congregants support and be more sensitive to issues of inclusiveness and hospitality toward our members and their families who are living with disabilities.
In September 2015 we commissioned an accessibility survey from the Southeast Minnesota Center for Independent Living in order to ensure accessibility for our members and visitors. SEMCIL examined the entryway, sanctuary, education rooms, staff offices, kitchen, and fellowship hall and prepared an Accessibility Assessment that made several recommendations to improve accessibility. Since that time several no-cost and low-cost changes have been made and the church continues to study the feasibility and cost of larger projects. SEMCIL Audit
Field Testing the Accessibility & Inclusion Ministry (AIM) Program
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Rochester is one of 8 congregations in the UUA to field test the Accessible & Inclusive Ministries (AIM) Program. AIM is a new congregational program focused on welcoming, embracing, integrating and supporting people with disabilities and their families in our congregations. This program creates a certification process where congregations can be formally recognized for their commitment and progress. This certification process is based on other UU initiatives such as becoming a Green Sanctuary or a Welcoming Congregation.
The Disability Task Group will be overseeing this process at our Church. Our committee was one of 7 groups of reviewers who gave feedback and had input into the Program Handbook. For the past 5 years our group has provided worship services, provided an accessibility study through SEMCIL, provided programs in RE and partnered with other groups in the community to fulfill our mission to help our congregation become engaged, educated and informed advocates for members of our Church and their families and others in the community living with disabilities.