We’ve used the original visual schedule almost every week for the past three years to help my children participate in the Divine Liturgy. In that time we have moved states and been members and guests at several churches. We’ve had time to live with the visual schedule and find its strengths and weaknesses. Some of the cues that I included in the first schedule aren’t in the new one. In part, my children outgrew their focus on particular melodies; in part, I needed to make way for more of the important parts of the sequence of Divine Liturgy. I hope and pray that this improved version will help many families participate in the Divine Liturgy.
Sample image from the visual schedule. Download the full schedule in PDF below.
This schedule is helpful for people who struggle with focus due to a wide range of challenges and needs. Though one of the particular aims is to include people with disabilities more fully into the life of the Church, this schedule is helpful for any family wanting to participate more in the service.
The core vocabulary board and sensory regulation choice symbols are useful for modeling language and facilitating requests that can help people regulate their sensory processing.
I included a fourth page with a basic 40-symbol Core vocabulary board and eight sensory regulation choice symbols. I recommend printing the schedule on two pages front and back or laminating the four pages in two sets, front and back so that the vocabulary choice board is on the back page and easily accessible. As always, be prepared to honor requests for sensory breaks and needs, in order to develop pragmatic communication, predictable soothing options, and trust. These tools facilitate communication, and it is up to the communication partners to establish the meanings with follow through.
DOWNLOAD the schedule set by clicking below, and don’t forget to share this post:
For those of you with the sermon in a different place, please download these sermon alternative images. Place the “Sing, ‘Glory to You,'” image on number 12 and add the “Sit for Sermon” image over the small square next to where it occurs in the service.
Using a visual schedule is one of many ways to make church more accessible to families with disabilities. Read more in my book, Of Such Is the Kingdom: A Practical Theology of Disability, available from Ancient Faith Publishing, your local bookstore and library, and wherever books are sold.