Picture and Symbol Systems

Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Selecting Symbols; Introduction to Symbol Selection. University of Washington Augmentative Communication website. Outline of various aided and unaided systems with links to more information. http://depts.washington.edu/augcomm/original_modules/module_customizing/selecting_symbols.htm

A Guide to Picture and Symbol Sets for Communication by Sally Miller, Call Centre, 2005. Helpful grid that allows easy comparison of various types of sets available and provides information on how to obtain and use them. http://callcentre.education.ed.ac.uk/downloads/pdf_courses/GuidePictureSymbolSets.pdf

Blissymbolics "Blissymbolics is a communication system originally developed by Charles K. Bliss (1897-1985) for the purpose of international communication. . . . Blissymbolics is a symbolic, graphical language that is currently composed of over 3,000 symbols [made from 100 key symbols]. Bliss-characters can be combined and recombined in endless ways to create new symbols. Bliss-words can be sequenced to form many types of sentences, and express many grammatical capabilities. Simple shapes are used to keep the symbols easy and fast to draw." Blissymbolics Communication International website. http://www.blissymbolics.org/index.shtml

Dynasyms. Developed by Poppin and Company and used on DynaVox communication devices: "... an organized, language-based symbol system. It is not just a collection of pictures or symbols. It was designed for use in developing language skills or for relearning language after illness or injury." http://www.poppinandcompany.com/dynasyms/index.shtml

Gus! Communication Symbols. 5500 high resolution symbols for children and adults; use with Overboard: Communication Overlay and Board Designer; from printed communication boards to full dynamic display; Microsoft Speech or NeoSpeech. Downloadable evaluation copy. http://www.gusinc.com/Overboard/index.html

How It Is (Image Vocabulary) An image vocabulary for children about feelings, rights and safety, general vocabulary, personal care and sexuality. Images designed to fill in gaps in existing symbol systems; includes Rebus and other line drawings; 383 images in 5 categories. Booklet and CD available from NSPCC Publications and Information Unit (e-mail infounit@nspcc.org.uk), London, UK. Subject browse and image search on-line. http://www.howitis.org.uk/

Makaton Vocabulary (used in combination with sign language) "Makaton is a unique language programme offering a structured, multi-modal approach, using signs and symbols, for the teaching of communication, language and literacy skills for people with communication and learning difficulties." Makaton uses speech together with a sign (gesture) and/ or a symbol (picture). Vocabulary was developed with UK focus. Translated resources available (Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Hindi) http://www.makaton.org/

Minspeak A Parent's Guide to Teaching Minspeak by Gail M. Van Tatenhove, PA, MS, CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist. "This 14 page booklet is a simple, do-able guide to help parents support and teach a Minspeak system. The strategies apply to any Minspeak program or Minspeak device." Free download. http://www.vantatenhove.com/files/ParentGuide.pdf

Minspeak4Kids Book by Gail M. Van Tatenhove, PA, MS, CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist. "This 'book' is a Powerpoint presentation. Print each slide and make the pages into a book. Use the book in elementary classrooms to explain the basic principles of Minspeak." Free download. http://www.vantatenhove.com/showfree.php?id=190

PCS (Picture Communication Symbols) — See Mayer-Johnson, Symbol libraries, PCS with Animation, Blissword symbols, software and more. http://www.mayer-johnson.com/

PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) Description of the PECS program as defined by Lori Frost and Andrew Bondy, article contributed by Beverly Vicker, Indiana Resource Center on Autism. "Careful consideration of the program and its strengths and weaknesses should play an important role in program selection for each prospective communication learner." http://www.iidc.indiana.edu/irca/communication/WhatisthePEC.html

Widgit Rebus Symbols (formerly Rebus symbols) by Widgit Software. "There are over 7000 images in both color and black & white covering a vocabulary of over 20,000 words. This vocabulary is continually being extended and gives you access to a wide range of topics and curricular areas." Software Products: Communicate: By Choice (early learning activities for switch and symbol users), Communicate: In Print 2 (first genuine symbol desktop publisher), Communicate: Webwide (first symbol-supported web browser), Writing with Symbols (award winning word and symbol processor giving full support to writing for all). Articles: A Brief Introduction to Symbols; Symbols for Literacy; Examples of Symbol Literacy; Effective Symbol Use; Rebus Development Project (includes design principles). Writing with Symbols has three alternate symbol sets: Widgit Rebus, PCS (Mayer-Johnson), or Makaton. http://www.widgit.com/index.htm