Category: Symbolic Language System

Cork-Tabbed Multi-Page Communication Book Secured To Lap Tray

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--- "DO IT YOURSELF" ENTRY ------- DESCRIPTION: A vinyl communication book attached to the wheelchair lap tray with U-bolts. Staggered corkboard strips separate the pages. The user flips each page over the front edge of the lap tray until the desired pages is found.
PURPOSE: To stabilize and facilitate easy page selection and page turning of a communication book for individual who have poor arm and hand coordination. The system described here is very durable, to accommodate a particular individual who has severe incoordination due to athetosis.
1. Sheets of vinyl of desired page size (such as 11 ½ inch x 8 ½ inch), one per page of communication symbols.
2. Sheets of paper with communication symbols (e.g. letters, words, Blissymbols, Pictured Communication Symbols) carefully laid out on them, designed by the student’s Communication Specialist.
3. Two sheets of thin, hard plastic, same dimensions as the vinyl, to form the front and back covers. Other material can be substituted but it may not be durable.
4. Glue or tape.
5. Clear contact paper.
6. Corkboard strips, approximately 1 inch x 5 inch, of appropriate thickness one per page. Quick Tip#2 offers alternate materials.
7. Heavy duty glue such as hot glue.
8. Three large U-bolts, approximately 2 inches deep.
9. Strip of metal, approximately 9 ½ inches long x 1 inch wide, (U bolts are soldered to this strip of metal).
10. 2 wood screws, no longer than the thickness of the lap tray.
Hand drill, heavy-duty hole puncher, screwdriver, welding supplies.
1. A welder will be needed to attach the U-Bolts. For some students, large metal rings (obtainable at a stationary store) can be substituted.
2. Some factors to consider when designing a lap-tray attached communication book are:
Other purposes of the tray it is used on
Whether pages can be more easily turned when positioned horizontally or vertically,
Whether separation between the pages is required, and if so, how much-use the least amount of separation needed in order to keep the size of the book manageable,
Whether the pages need to be made of thick, stiff material or not.
Please adjust materials and design accordingly
1. Make Communication Sheets.
a. Glue or tape the communication sheets to the sheets of vinyl, and cover with clear contact paper.
b. Hot glue one 5 inch x 1 inch cork tab (vertically) onto the back of each paper of the communication book, allowing approximately 1 inch of the tab to extend from the front edge of the book. Stagger the positions for the cork tabs to resemble tabbed dividers in a cookbook. Cover the cork tabs with clear contact paper.
2. Make Metal Lap Tray Attachment.
a. Position the U-bolts so they look like upside-down U’s, and weld the back end of each of the U-bolts onto the metal strip, approximately 4 inches apart from each other.
b. Drill two holes through the metal strip large enough to fit the screws, placing each hole between two of the U-bolts.
c. Drill two pilot holes in the lap try to correspond with the holes drilled in the metal strip. Drill the holes so the metal strip will be parallel to the far degree of the lap tray and will also be desired distance from the student’s body.
3. Punch Communication Sheets and place on U-bolts:
a. Drill three holes along the top of each of two hard pieces of plastic to correspond with the locations of the U-bolts.
b. Punch three holes along the top of each of the communication book, then the vinyl pages, then the back cover of the communication book, onto the U-bolts.
4. Attachment to Metal Tray:
Position the holes of the metal strip over the pilot holes previously drilled in the lap tray and then screw the communication board to the lap tray.
Author: This particular version was designed by staff and therapist at the United Cerebral Palsy Association, Watertown, MA, with the help of Design-Able, Inc., 65 Ryan Drive, Unit 2F, Raynham, MA 02767.


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