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My apologies to any reader that I may inadvertently offend by use of the term "handicap". I am uncertain of another good term to convey my message...

Parsha Kedoshim, which addresses not to insult the deaf or place a stumbling block before the blind, motivated me to inquire regarding synagogues that are friendly to handicapped people. Has someone published a list of U.S. / Canadian synagogues that cater to various handicaps? I am looking for this in terms of mainly weekly Shabbat and holiday services, not for social events.

Some examples:

  • Synagogues that have a "loop" system that assists people wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants
  • ASL (American Sign Language) interpreters for all or part of the services
  • Handicapped ramps to the shul bimah (2 places I know of are Boca Raton Syngogue, FL and Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, NY. Any others?)
  • Wheelchair accessible synagogues, possibly with Shabbat elevators so that all parts of the synagogue are accessible
  • Services for mentally-disabled congregants such as autism, slow learners, ADHD, etc.
  • Siddurim written with Braille

These are some of the handicaps that I can think of, offhand. The guide / list, of course can include others.

  • I don't know, but you may try contacting Yachad, a division of the OU, or Our Way, a division of Yachad: either of them may have a list. (Both aim toward inclusion in the general Orthodox Jewish community: Yachad, outside of Our Way, is officially for those with disabilities but seems to focus mostly on mental disabilities, whereas Our Way is for the deaf and hard of hearing.) – msh210 May 12 '16 at 16:54
  • @msh210 Thanks. I have been a member of Our Way for many years, and know the main people there. AFAIK, Yachad hasn't published this guide, but B"N, I will check, again. – DanF May 12 '16 at 17:17
  • They should all be friendly – hazoriz May 12 '16 at 18:13
  • @hazoriz, no doubt most synagogue attendees are friendly to handicapped people. The question here is not whether the attendees are but whether the synagogues themselves (architecture etc.) and their programming (interpreters etc.) are. Perhaps the question can be clearer (though I thought it was clear enough). – msh210 May 12 '16 at 18:30
  • @msh210 he is not the right word accommodating – hazoriz May 12 '16 at 18:43
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This link from the OU lists synagogues that are handicapped accessible.

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