#387 | Kris Tyssowski | Change the format

Submission 387
Kris Tyssowski
Channing Memorial Church, UU (Ellicott City, MD) 4040

What is your suggestion or idea?

I am concerned the visual presentation of information may be difficult for neurodivergent people as there are a lot of words to process to get to the meaning.

Simple changes in formatting could help.

For example, keep the core value first and in bold type, followed by the sentence describing value. Then add a space under this line, and indent and italicize the covenanting description. For example:

Interdependence. We honor the interdependent web of all existence.

We covenant to cherish Earth and all beings by creating and nurturing relationships of care and respect. With humility and reverence, we acknowledge our place in the great web of life, and we work to repair harm and damaged relationships.

In addition to improving accessibility for a neurodivergent audience, these changes allow people who are used to browsing online and getting a lot of information quickly, to get a broad sense of UU values at a glance.

People will see the graphic. Then they can view the list of core values and the definitions. If they connect with the essence of UUism, they can go back and read more about how the values are put into practice. The list of core values will be easy to see and give enough information for them to decide if they want to read more. The paragraphs, as currently presented, might discourage a deeper investigation of the content.

There might be other and better ways to make the text neurodivergent-friendly. I think it’s worth investigating.

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

I’d like to see the content presented in a way that is more accessible to a neurodivergent audience.

Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?

I shared this information with a small group of people in my congregation who had gathered to discuss the changes in Article II. The minister was present as were people from our church’s the Article II committee and congregants. All present acknowledged that I had a good point and that working on formatting designed with neurodivergent people in mind would be an important consideration to be addresses.


Evidently, the change of format that I suggested could not be displayed in this submission. For an excellent example of how to remedy my concern, please see submission #376 by Ostara Hollyoak.