Queries and Advices – Inclusion of Disabled Friends

Queries:

  • How do you create an atmosphere in your Meeting where people, especially those new to the Meeting, are not afraid to make their needs known?
  • How do you work for the full inclusion of children and young people with disabilities in your Meeting and greater disability awareness among all your children and young people?
  • How do you help those who find it hard to hear or understand ministry? Do you have an effective, reliable hearing support system for those using hearing aids?
  • What does your Meeting do to enable visually-impaired Friends to take a full part in the Meeting?
  • How might you seek advice and support to help you understand and include Friends with mental health problems?
  • How can your Meeting respond to those who are unable to sit in one position for a long period because of the usual seating or for other reasons?
  • What are you doing to make the best possible provision for people with walking difficulties given the age and nature of the buildings you use?
  • How often does your Meeting hold Meetings for Worship in the homes of housebound Friends or those who cannot manage larger groups?
  • How might your Meeting offer care to someone to free their regular carer to attend Meeting?
  • How does your Meeting help with transport for people who are otherwise unable to come to Meeting?

Advices: Possible Next Steps

Our life is love, and peace and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand. Isaac Pennington1667

  • Ask disabled people if they need help and listen to what they say.
  • If you have a disability, try to acknowledge your need and find ways to make it known.
  • Ask your Elders and Overseers to help. (See Quaker faith and practice paragraphs 12.12g and 12.13c).
  • For information about disabled access requirements, consult “The Care of Meeting Houses” BYM Handbook for a brief introduction.
  • Ask your Local Authority or Meeting House Warden about Hearing Support Systems and professional technical expertise in your area.
  • Find out about Quaker publications in audio format from Talking Friends. Website: www.talkingfriends.org.uk
  • Join the BYM e-mail network for those who share a concern about disability equality. Find a ‘computer buddy’ if you want to join but do not use a computer.

These queries and advices are also available as a printable leaflet, including contact information for QDEG.