Parishioners assessment of Catholic Churches accessibility for persons with disabilities.

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Author: Bastian, Lee Margaret S. et.al

Accession Number: 803

Class No: AV-UGT

Author No:

Copyright Year: 2016

Abstract:

This mixed-methods research study determined the accessibility of the Catholic churches in Iloilo City for persons with disabilities (PWDs). Quantitative data were gathered using questionnaire-checklist from the accessibility survey of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lansing, Michigan, USA. The modification was based on the information acquired from the National Building Code of the Philippines handbook (2009). Frequency, mean and standard deviation were utilized to analyze the data. Eighteen purposively selected Catholic churches were the respondents. Qualitative data were collected using individual interview schedules and researchers’ journals. Results revealed that the accessibility rating of the Catholic churches for persons with disabilities was average when taken as a whole and classified in terms of parking/walks, ramps/stairs, doors/doorways, worship space, restrooms, forms of communication and signage. Informants revealed that accommodations were provided for PWDs by some churches such as the deaf ministries with a sign language interpreter for persons with hearing impairment. One church has rules that exempt persons with physical or health impairments from mass protocol. Results also revealed that most churches do not have ramps with specific standard measurement stated in the Accessibility Law Handbook. Based on the existing findings of this study, Catholic churches in Iloilo City still have to reach the required standard of full accessibility of PWDs as stated in the rules and regulations of the Philippine Accessibility Law and under the principles of Universal Design. PWDs may voice out their rights for full inclusion and for equal opportunities in the society. Parents and guardians of PWDs may be advocates for the accessibility of churches in terms of services and accommodations. Catholic churches may address the needs of PWDs by providing a barrier-free environment.


Keywords: Parishioners, Assessment, Catholic Church, Accessibility, Persons with disabilities

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