Category: Symbolic Language System

Tactile Symbols

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Tactile Symbols are a symbolic language system designed to provide a means of communication for people who have both communication disabilities and visual disabilities. The symbols are permanent, manipulatable, can be tactually discriminated, and may be selected using a simple motor response such as touching. The symbols are coded by shape to represent various meaning categories and objects are glued to plastic background shapes to represent specific vocabulary items. For example, backgrounds in the shape of a circle represent people, a heart represents emotions, an oval represents ojects, a triangle represents actions, etc. The symbols themselves consist of small common objects, parts of objects, or an abstract representation (an object having no obvious or concrete relationship to the referent). The symbols may be concretely related to the vocabulary they depict (i.e., a small plastic spoon for "eat") or they may have no obvious relationship (fringed leather to represent "finished"). The symbols may be affixed to the objects or places they represent or they may be used with calendar boxes and communication boards. They may also be used with an expansion strip to organize steps in a routine, with the steps read from left to right and each symbol acting as a clue to the next step in the routine. Standard vocabulary includes food, common household items, activities of daily living, requests and emotions, months, holidays, and disability/rehab related terms (occupational therapist, physical therapist, and AFO); customized vocabulary is also offered. The symbols are available with or without Grade I Braille labels.


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as of: 
Tactile Symbols

Made By:

Mary-Jane Duncan
Organization Type: 
Fax: 253-735-6350
Phone (U.S. and Canada):