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One Symbol Language for All Children: The Newcastle Symbol Project

Session 
1.6
Personal experience
  • Philippa Robinson
  • Mary Lavender
  • Catherine Snowdon
  • Kay Punshon
  • Carol Morton
Summary

Symbols are used to support language and communication in three special schools in Newcastle. However, three different commercial symbol sets were in use and with each school a different symbol may be in use to represent the same language item. Symbols are also increasingly being used in the special  pre-school service.

The need for consistency of symbol use was identified, not least to ease transitions. In May 2007 the local authority’s School Improvements Advisor for SEN and Inclusion, and the Speech and Language Therapy Manager of the Community Team for Learning Disability, agreed to identify local authority and NHS personnel to discuss this issue.

This presentation will outline the journey to agree a symbol set and ‘library’ of core symbols, including the roles of those involved, the issues identified, and the decisions made to date.

Level of Session 
2
Age Group 
Child
Adolescent
Interest 
Primary school
Secondary school transition
Transition
Special