Rarely do two buildings have the same challenges but there is advice available.
Among the many issues to be considered are;
Adequacy of external parking including accessibility to the building for those requiring transport;
Adequacy of entrance access and internal lighting;
Easy access for all through the main entrance and throughout the building;
Are cloakrooms and toilets, including accessible toilets, well signed and easily found?
Are ramps in place to assist access for everyone to all areas, including the chancel?
Where appropriate, are there lifts to give access for all to upper floors?
If possible, are seats moveable to facilitate all sitting where they wish to do so, including those in wheelchairs?
Is there a satisfactory audio system, including induction loop?
Is there helpful external and internal signage in place including signs to assist those with visual impairment, dyslexia or dementia?
Where screens are used within the building, are they of sufficient size and in helpful locations for all users?
Where handouts are given are they available in large print and, if possible, adapted to assist those who benefit from particular signs, print type, font size, paper colour etc?
Is a handy exit plan, specifically for wheelchair users, available for issue at the door.
This summary list is not comprehensive. We welcome suggestions for additions to the list to make it as comprehensive as possible for all.
Help and advice is available if you wish. Please contact the Secretary of SCDG in the first instance. (email for the Secretary: Rowantreeass@outlook.com)
The Committee on Church Art and Architecture (CARTA), Church of Scotland, has produced helpful guidance. Their publication “Open Church” gives general guidance from the Church’s perspective. CARTA also has a comprehensive list of instances of physical changes made to church buildings as a useful listing.
All CARTA publications and leaflets are available on the Church of Scotland Resourcing Mission website; www.resourcingmission.org.uk/resources/carta
Also see more information at: Scottish Episcopal Church