Accessibility Checklist

“Accessible Worship-Service Checklist,” a resource created by the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD, and adapted from the IDRC’s BigIDeA project.  It deals with the ways to make events (such as worship services and conferences) more accessible.


Advertising/Registration

  • Have you provided ample notice to allow people to arrange accommodations?
  • Have you included a disability accommodation statement on all advertising?
  • Have you collected info about special needs through registration forms?
  • Have your parishioners identified dietary preferences?
  • Does your advertising include ontact information for accessibility requests?
  • Has your community followed up with responses to accommodation requests?
  • Does your advertising include international accessibility symbols?
  • Is your community scent-free, as a rule?

Planning ahead

  • Have you trained volunteers to accommodate accessibility issues?
  • Can people with disabilities clearly identify those volunteers?
  • Have you reminded your volunteers to ask guests, “How may I help you?”
  • Have you booked accessibility supports in advance?
  • Have you informed interpreters, captioners and note-takers in advance?
  • Will you explain the tasks of interpreters/captioners during worship?
  • Have you considered childcare outside of business hours?
  • Have you considered food for interpreters, attendants, and childminders?
  • Have you reminded organizers and staff of your scentfree practice/policy?

The Venue

  • Has your community suggested realistic transport options?
  • Have you provided info about accessible parking?
  • Have you offered main wheelchair access and alternatives?
  • Have you made outdoor and indoor pathways free of barriers?
  • Have you given access to all needed indoor space independently or with assistance?
  • Have you made elevators fully-inclusive for diverse end-users (ideally, at least)?
  • Have you provided inclusive, clear, high-contrast signage?

Room Set-up

  • Have you set up the space to be generous to users of wheelchairs and scooters?
  • Have you provided accessible seating areas in front, middle and back, if possible?
  • Have you reserved seating for people with disabilities?
  • Does your worship-space include adjustable lighting?
  • Do your acoustics provide minimal echo?
  • Are washrooms accessible, and at an adequate distance for all users?
  • Are electrical cables/cords covered securely for safe crossover?
  • Does your community promote a smokefree environment?
  • Are organizers, presenters and volunteers trained for emergency evacuations?

Suggestions for effective presenters

  • Be sure to start on time!
  • Have you offered congregants materials in large-print and digital formats?
  • Have you had extra hardcopies printed?
  • Are audio/visual controls adjustable?
  • Can you offer verbal descriptions of visual contents?
  • Are any and all videos captioned?
  • Have you provided congregants with necessary bio or dietary breaks?

Food and Refreshments

  • Would persons using wheelchairs find your food, drinks and utensils easy to reach?
  • Are bendable straws and cups with handles available?
  • Is food/buffet assistance available?

Service Animals

  • Remember to discourage congregants from petting service animals!
  • Have you offered a relief area for service animals?
  • Have you provided service animals with a water-bowl?