Exalting the Valley of Accessibility

Welcome! I’m Summer Kinard, author of Of Such is the Kingdom: A Practical Theology of Disability. This post provides supporting materials that I covered in tonight’s Antiochian East PLC virtual workshop (click for the video!). Scroll down to click on the free printables! Make sure to follow my blog for updates. You should also sign up for my ACCESSIBLE CHURCH SCHOOL newsletter for ongoing inforamtion and free resources about different disabilities.


Pop over to my post on Nurturing Independence in Prayer for free printable visual versions of the Lord’s Prayer, the Jesus Prayer, and a visual Confession communication board.

Stop by my Accessible Prayer Corner Tutorial for details on building a classroom or home accessible prayer area.

You can also pray without words following the FEEL FIRST pattern by posting this Feelings Prayer chart in your prayer corner. This helps support people as they take their feelings to God. Words might or might not come later, but opening attention to God this way is truly a form of prayer.

An important tool for pastoral care is the Confession Communication Board, which can be used for people who have situational mutism, who are nonverbal, who can’t tell the difference between feeling awkward and doing wrong, who have had a stroke, or who have attention deficit challenges and need a visual form to check off things they want to confess. It’s also on the webinar post I linked above, but here it is again for ease of access:




PLEASE ONLY PRINT OUT THE ABOVE COMMUNICATION BOARD ON A 3’X2′ BANNER! SIZE MATTERS IN ACCESSIBLE LANGUAGE AIDS! We like Banners on the Cheap for our banner printing (not affiliated, just a place with good quality and great deals). If the entire board is overwhelming, that’s okay! You don’t have to use it all at once. Practice only a few phrases at once, always starting with “I like this” or “I don’t like this” or “I think you {don’t} like this.” You can cover some of the boxes with post it notes for a few weeks so that you can model just some language at a time. For instance, ” I like this. We kissed the icons. That is beautiful. I feel loved.” You should also always leave the light blue squares visible. Overwhelmed or upset kids will need to access “all done” and “more” and other feelings/self-regulation squares at all times. (Thank you, SLP Laila who attended the workshop and pointed out how well post-its would work for managing overwhelm! If anyone wants to read more about building vocabulary with a communication board, look up LAMP–Language Acquisition through Motor Planning–and “templating,” which is the practice of covering some words so you can target communication goals without overwhelm.)



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