Inclusive Design: Simple, Inexpensive Changes. Really!

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The Spring 2020 issue of Breaking Barriers tells stories of people living with visual impairments. 

I worshiped at a church that projected song lyrics over beautiful photographs. In addition, we read in unison Scripture projected onscreen. The slide designers gave no thought to people who have visual impairments. With varied colors and levels of light and dark in the photographs, any choice of color for song lyrics would be washed out by parts of the photograph. In addition, the small font size of both song lyrics and Scripture made them difficult to read. 

Many designers place form over function, thereby excluding some members of their congregation from participation in worship. 

About 15% of people with visual impairments have no vision, or no light perception. Others are considered legally blind, which has the same definition in Canada and in the United States; their corrected visual acuity is 20/200 (or 6/60) or less in their better eye, or their visual field is 20 percent or narrower. (Someone who is legally blind qualifies for various programs and benefits.) Still others have low vision, or “uncorrectable vision loss that interferes with daily activities,” according to afb.org. 

We hope this story will motivate you to find out how your church can become more accessible with changes that are usually simple and inexpensive. 

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