Sanctuary plan accessibilityAt a hearing in June, the state’s Architectural Access Board (AAB) presented several requirements:

  • We need not change the historic front entrance to the Meeting House
  • As part of our current project, we must provide space in the pews for two wheelchairs and we must add a handrail to the front interior stairway
  • By 2016, we must provide two additional spaces for wheelchairs in the pews and we must modify the platform in the front of the sanctuary. (The front platform modifications are an alternative to making the choir loft handicap accessible.)
  • By 2018, we must make the kitchen handicap accessible.

In a June 28 meeting, the Building Committee agreed to address all required sanctuary changes as part of the current project.  We will provide four wheelchair spaces, at each window end of the front pews and at each aisle end of the rear pews. (The law requires that space be provided in a variety of locations.) The raised platform in front of the pulpit will be extended to the first pew, and will be provided with ramps so that wheelchair-bound people have easy access to the “Joys and Sorrows” microphone. The pew and platform changes are subtle and will minimally alter the sanctuary’s appearance.