Picture symbol boards are graphic representations of spoken and written language. They serve as an alternative to conventional language, allowing even very young nonspeaking persons a method of communicating. Boards are comprised of cells which vary in number, shape, color, size, and content. Boards can also be paper or computer based. One child's communication board may consist of an 8 1/2 x 11 sized paper with only one cell while another child may have 132 cells containing pictures and text. Listed below are some of the major companies which publish picture symbol sets and examples of those symbols.
Picture Communication Symbols Books I, II, III
The Communication Board-Builder
P.O. Box 1579
Solana Beach, CA 92075-1579
These communication symbol collections represent the most widely
used picture symbols. They incorporate simple clear graphics which are easily recognizable
and appropriate for all ages. Picture communication symbols exist for categories such as
people, verbs, nouns, descriptors, and social words. The Boardmaker program is a computer
program which allows people to create a variety of communication boards in color or black
and white using the 3,000 picture communication symbol database.
2. The Standard Rebus Glossary
American Guidance Service
Circle Pines, MN 55014
This glossary of rebus symbols contains over 800 black and white rebuses which represent over 2,000 words.
1128 Rhode Island Ave
Lawrence, KS 66044
This system of symbols consists of over 1,800 line drawings that are accompanied by text labels. These symbols are similar to Boardmaker's Picture Communication Symbols, but some children find them more difficult conceptually to grasp
4. Pictogram Ideogram Communication Symbols
The Pictogram Centre
This is a collection of 400 white on black symbols used primarily to reduce
Blissymbolics Communication International
250 Ferrand Dr, Suite 200
Don Mills, ONT M3C 3P2
This system of 1,400 black and white symbols and text labels were developed as an auxiliary language.
6. Oakland Schools Picture Dictionary
Oakland Schools Communication Enhancement Center
Waterford, MI 48328
This dictionary contains nearly 500 simple and concrete black and white line drawings for communication boards. They are easily understood and devoid of redundant visual distractions.
7. Icon Galleries
Don Johnston, Inc.
1000 N. Rand, BLDG 115
Wauconda, IL 60084
These symbols sets are for Ke:nx and the Macintosh computer. They are designed for use with onscreen displays, scanning windows, and alternate keyboards. Blissymbols, Core Picture Vocabulary Gallery, Dynasims Gallery, and Kids in Action Gallery represent just some of the sets that can be used to create communication boards. More than 7,000 different symbols are housed on one CD.
55 Leveroni Court
Novato, CA 94949
This computerized symbol set is designed to work with Intellikeys, another Intellitools product. It is a 300 image set of black and white or color symbols organized into 15 categories such as food, holidays, and mobility.
This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP) in
collaboration with the Center for Literacy and Disabilities Studies at Duke University.
NCIP is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs,
Grant #H180N20013, and was downloaded from NCIP's WWW site - http://www.edc.org/FSC/NCIP/.
Readers are encouraged to copy and share this material, but please credit NCIP. Contents
do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does
mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by NCIP,
EDC, or the U.S. Government.
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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP) in collaboration with the Center for Literacy and Disabilities (CLD) at Duke University. NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013. Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information. If you do so, please cite NCIP. Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by CLD, NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government. This site was last updated in September 1998.
© Education Development Center, Inc.