Playground Communication board in use

We love to chat, and conversation is an important part of creating belonging and connection. Adding a communication board to your inclusive playground, inclusive education site or recreational space enables inclusion, interaction and successful communication for all.

Also known as a ‘playground board’ and often located at accessible playgrounds, the communication board is a form of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). It is important that we show people with communication difficulties that they are accepted, included and welcomed, just like anyone using shared community spaces.

So, what is a communication board?

A communication board is a large board featuring predictable words aligned with well-recognised symbols that support the exchange of a message. The board stands where people can gather to talk. The grid-style symbol layout is used to express thoughts, needs, wants and ideas by pointing to the symbols, or using gestures while a communication partner points to the symbols.

A communication board benefits people of all abilities. It can act as a menu to suggest things a person might like to say, enhance a verbal message, clarify speech when it’s difficult to understand, or as a replacement for someone who doesn’t use verbal speech. Braille can be added for people with vision impairment.

Find a communication board at an inclusive playground

How to scan a communication board

If a person is not able to point directly to the symbols, then read out the options and ask them to tell you ‘yes’ or ‘no’. When you get to the one they want to say, ask if they are finished or want to add another word, otherwise you might only get half of the message.

Watch our video to see a simple example of scanning a communication board at the playground.

AAC Playground Chat Board

Why are communication boards important?

A communication board shows that AAC is acknowledged and valued in your space. A communication disability does not belong to a person, but to their whole community. Empowering people with communication difficulties is not limited to direct changes on their behalf. It also requires the development of a communication accessible community.

Two Way Street is also the only South Australian approved assessment organisation for Communication Access. We provide training and assessment for organisations seeking to become more communication accessible. Learn more about communication access and how your organisation can attain the Communication Access Symbol.

What’s the process to get a communication board?

In consultation with you and your team, our qualified Speech Pathologists will carefully select messages specific to your space and its surroundings to encourage conversation. Your customised communication board design will include comprehensive vocabulary to enable back and forth interaction between people using the space.

Our designs feature the internationally recognised Tobii Dynavox Picture Communication Symbols® (PCS), instructions for use and a QR code to download a digital version of the board.

Download our brochure to learn more about communication boards and use the checklist to prepare.

“I wouldn’t change you for the world, but I would change the world for you.”


Get a communication board

Contact us to learn more about developing a communication board for your playground, school or recreational space.

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