Symbol systems

Symbol systems are often used to assist deafblind people to communicate. Photos, pictures and objects can be added to other structured forms of communication.

Objects of reference

A wooden spoon hanging on a wall with people sitting in the backgroundSome congenitally deafblind or multi-sensory-impaired people learn to use particular objects to symbolise a significant activity. For example, a towel may indicate swimming, or a fork may be used to show that it is time for a meal.

This method allows people who are deafblind to make choices and enables others to let them know what is planned.

For further information on objects of reference visit http://www.rnib.org.uk/insight-online/help-me-find-my-way-around

Picture symbols

Picture symbols are sometimes used to support the development of language, either accompanying text or in their own right.

There are a number of symbol sets available including Widgit and Mayer Johnson.

 

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First published: Monday 21 May 2012
Updated: Tuesday 9 August 2016