Accessibility and Inclusion 2015-2016 Successes

  • In collaboration with Teresa Matzek created an Accessibility and Inclusion page under “What’s at Mount Zion for Me?” web page including videos, D’vrei Torah, accomplishments, links to articles in Iton Tziyon and contact information for working group members.
  • Allyson Perling represented Mount Zion Temple’s Accessibility and Inclusion efforts at the Biennial in Orlando, Florida.
  • Mount Zion Temple honored as an Exemplar Congregation in Disability Inclusion at the URJ’s 2015 Biennial.
  • Ruth Garner, Sisterhood President, spoke on her relationship with her brother with a disability as the Sisterhood Shabbat pulpit guest, November 2015.
  • Collaborated with librarian Bob Epstein to add books on disability for children and adults to Mount Zion Temple’s library.
  • December 2015 Allyson Perling attended Mount Zion’s Board meeting to review key points for ushers to communicate and do to integrate inclusion strategies.
  • Participated in the 2016 Jewish Disability Awareness Inclusion Month (JDAIM.) On the first Friday night of the month Rabbi Adler read the book Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have the Wiggle Fidgets by Barbara Esham. We took the opportunity to introduce the new fidget toys that can be used for services. On the last Friday night Joan Ostrove was the pulpit guest speaking on Cultivating Patience, Re-framing Disability: A Jewish Perspective on Access and Inclusion. We did an information blitz with articles, videos and links on Mount Zion’s Facebook page.
  • Adjustable print sizes on Mount Zion’s website and increased sized print on mobile devices.
  • Purchased two hand-held magnifiers to use during services and Torah study for prayer books and other small print.
  • Sue Lund led a taskforce and created a marketing brochure to be used by ushers on Friday nights and in the welcome packet for new members.
  • Started having low- and no-scent flowers on bimah.
  • Increased gluten and dairy free options at synagogue sponsored events.
  • Worked 1:1 with congregants and potential congregants on vision, physical, hearing, sensory, and other needs.
  • Provided American Sign Language interpreters for High Holiday services and other Mount Zion services and events as requested.
  • New statement included in all youth group emails, “Mount Zion is a diverse and inclusive community. We welcome all who seek to experience and celebrate Judaism including people of all abilities, interfaith families and LGBTQ individuals, couples and families. We strive to accommodate all youth. Please contact Liza Henry or Sam Petersen-Perlman to discuss how we can meet your child’s needs.”
  • Collaborated with youth engagement staff to discuss ways to include and support several youth at ongoing and overnight events.
  • Seventh graders and gesher mentors participated in NAMI’s “Ending the Silence” workshop.
  • Focused on mental health at the Yom Kippur teen service including a Q&A with a panel of mental health professionals.
  • Provided mental health information including important phone numbers and informational pamphlets from NAMI in youth lounge.
  • Checked in with families and youth with dietary restrictions prior to finalizing food for youth group events and provided alternatives when needed.
 
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