Sunday, July 29, 2012
Should Symbols be Free?
This is an interesting question. Why should people who use symbols have to pay to speak? If you need Braille or enlarged text, this is available for free or at the same cost as the print version. This is exactly how it should be. This ties easily into the post on Equality Without Words. Why do people who use picture symbols have to pay for them? The software regardless of the symbol set used is not cheap and is always being updated (this is positive but an additional expense). When you learn a new word do you have to pay money to access it? This sounds ridiculous but it is exactly what symbol users must do. This becomes an issue of social justice. Schools, families and individuals often struggle to pay for the software (as well as the advanced AAC devices - although insurance has made a significant difference in this area). There are very strict copyright rules when using symbols. My question is, how can we do this better? How can symbols be made more accessible in terms of cost, access and usage across all settings? There has to be a way to work on this together.