Who can benefit from having text support with symbols?
- Severely disabled
- Communication device users
- Learning Disabled
- Writing with Symbols 2000 (No longer being made.)
- SymbolWorld is great for already designed materials that are limited but free! Just pull up a story and print it off. Given to you by category, this site is very friendly and easy to use.
- Check out the Widgit Symbol Resources. There are hundreds of free and low-cost symbol resource packs, created in partnership with professionals.
- The Askability website is a website which was presented entirely in symbol form and text to enable children to become informed about ongoing current affairs and also create a central forum for children to express their views and opinions. Worth exploring to see if this is something that might benefit your students.
- Don’t have time to make your own books? Baltimore City Schools has some already made that you can download and print off. (You will need Boardmaker to use these pre-made grids.)
- is an online, standards-based set of interactive tools specifically designed for students with special needs to access the general curriculum. News 2 You provides preschool through transition students with rigorous, standards-based materials specifically designed to meet their instructional needs. Users interact with differentiated, thematic units of study with text to speech, interactive components, activities and opportunities to show what they know. Books, lessons, and activities are viewable on a variety of hardware platforms, including tablets, whiteboards, and smartboards. Additionally, n2y’s proprietary user interface and tools combine with touch technology to encourage engagement and exploration of many types of content.
- Write the word on the monitor for them to “See it”.
- Have them copy it to “Do it”.
- Using their talking word processor they can “Hear it".
- Using their AAC device they can “Say it”.
- Erase the word on the computer and have them spell it.
Have you ever traveled to another country? Have you quickly learned the names of certain words quickly? Have you ever noticed how much quicker you learn them when they are paired with a picture? Did you rely heavily on the icons in the world? Have you found even in your local, known area, it is sometimes easier to look at a symbol than a word? How many times do you just look at the male or female picture of a bathroom instead of reading men and women? Start noticing!
Always consider the student's age and their ability. Some students may need larger, colorful symbols but as they become better readers or if the student is concerned about it looking too “babyish”, you may want to consider making the symbols smaller and/or appear in black and white. So programs make it very easy to make this adaptation.