Faith in Action
Unitarian Universalists (UU) are committed to welcoming and affirming people of all abilities.
Nearly 50 million people (1 in 5 of the U.S. population) in the United States have a disability—visible or invisible, public or private. For everyone, whether having a disability or not, the environment in which we live, learn, play, sing, work, meditate, reflect, and pray must feel welcoming in order for everyone to grow and thrive. – UUA
Our mission is to welcome people of all abilities into the First Parish community.
Donna Eldridge and Mary Ann Barrow
“Celebration” General Assembly 2014
- Accessibility & Inclusion Survey of areas needing improvement throughout our campus and programming.
- We developed and implemented “Embracing Difference Together” a six week religious education curriculum on the worth and dignity of every person. This program ended Sunday, December 14th with our young people aged 4 through 16 planning how they can make a difference in the world and creating their own “Disability Bill of Rights”.
- Development of an Action Plan to improve accessibility throughout the first parish campus and to increase awareness and inclusion in worship and our other activities.
- Feasibility studies are underway for new bathrooms, elevators and railings in the meetinghouse and Sampson Hall.
- We have reached out to the Parent Information Network (PIN) a local program that supports families with children living with mental health challenges. We will be offering them space for their annual holiday party this December and hope to cohosting a dynamic speaker on children’s mental health early next year.
In 2013, First Parish submitted a proposal and was accepted as one of thirteen congregations in the country to participate in a pilot program by EqUUal Access and the UUA called the “Disability/Ability Certification Project.” Modeled on the GBLT Welcoming Congregations program, this project was designed to help churches reach out to and include people with physical, emotional and cognitive challenges more fully into the life of our congregation. We created AIM to carry out the work of this program.