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graphic designer with CBoard and AAC symbols plus UNICEF logo

David Banes

Making AAC happen with UNICEF

Working with UNICEF ECARO offered participants in Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro the chance to provide AAC strategies to professionals, families and carers working with children who have severe speech, language and literacy difficulties. Much of the work revolved around the provision of Cboard, an open-source AAC app and a case study was written by UNICEF titled 'A voice for every child through open-source solutions and resources' (download PDF).

The project included activities with core stakeholders in each country building an ecosystem with Global Symbols and an infrastructure upon which the success of the intervention could be based and replicated.

Part of that success can be seen in a video created by Montenegro colleagues, which shows Seid using Cboard and symbol communication effectively.

A wide range of resources were created for use in each country. All of these resources are open-licensed for translation and customization for others. These include:

  • the open licenced translated training packages for professionals - Global Symbols Training.

  • the open symbol sets repository to explore the Symbol Sets, Boardbuilder, and Symbol creator - Global Symbols

  • step-by-step on-line guidance to enable customization of symbol sets to other languages (Symbol voting)

  • a download version of Cboard from Google play or access to the app for use in a web browser on a tablet, phone or computer.

Srna using Cboard "The long-awaited first word" © UNICEF Srbija/2020/Vaš Srna is one of the children who have received the Communicator thanks to UNICEF’s For every child, a voice project.

Much of this experience has then been gathered and collated into a step-by-step guide for the implementation of AAC in the Global Symbols knowledge base for AAC implementation thanks to the support of those involved locally and UNICEF.

We look forward to working with UNICEF colleagues in the future and seeing AAC grow and thrive across the globe.

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