Free Symbol Project

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have symbols be free to all who use them. Shouldn't our public facilities become increasingly symbol friendly to promote increased access. We would love to start a worldwide free symbol project where not only would we advocate for symbols to be free which have already been developed, we can look at creating our own set developed by many people all coming together. The symbol set would be free to everyone. It can be a work in progress but would require some organization and certainly legal supports. This is also an opportunity to look at redesigning how we make symbols and support language and communication. Can they be universal? What would a shared language look like?  Please contact us if you are interested in this project.

Free Symbol Project Email:

(updated 8/24/12) - Please feel free to email if you are interested in helping or have additional resources to share or suggestions. The goal is to provide a list of free to low cost resources as well as supplement these systems with additional free symbols. We are also looking at including animation options as this appears to be the direction some of the research is moving in.  We are looking at including many different languages in this project as well. This will require the substantial expansion of culturally and contextually relevant vocabulary and phrases.

Take a look at this website that one of our AT/SLP staff has recommended. It looks free so please share with everyone:  
It looks like there is software as well and different languages.

To go along with my previous comment on this site which is also now listed in the main post, there is an animation feature which is also free. There is some research that has looked at animating symbols to see if it has an impact on language acquisition. This is something we need to explore much more. Here is one research article you can look at:

Schlosser, Ralf W., Shane, Howard, Sorce, James, Koul, Rajinder, Koul, Bloomfield, Emma, Debrowski, Lisa, DeLuca, Ti, Miller, Stephanie, Schneider, Danielle & Neff, Allison (2012). Animation of Graphic Symbols Representing Verbs and Prepositions: Effects on transparency, Name Agreement, and Identification. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Vol. 55, pp. 342-358.

8/7/12: I am adding some links to free and reduced symbols. There are some good resources out there!

Please share these with everyone. Amy Wolfson & Crystal King our Assistive technology Specialists found these resources.  

8/9/12: Amy Wolfson found this incredible site: Picto Selector This is a freeware program which allows you to create communication displays, symbols, topic boards etc. The website states is has over 2200 symbols available for free and in many different languages. This is definitely something you should check-out and share!   

9/15/12 - Update

Here is another great site that offers free symbols and symbol generation. You can change the labels, develop literacy & numeracy supports etc. SEN Teacher.

This resource site by Widget offers a number of free and low cost symbol packages.

9/16/12 - Update

The South Carolina Assistive technology has a great list of free and low cost symbol resources: Objects, Photos, Picture Symbols

Free Visual Supports for schedules, behavior, daily routines & communication.

9/30/12 - Update

Teachers Pay Teachers is a series of websites where teachers are able to market their materials at low costs to other teachers. They are teacher sellers. This is a place where you can market your original materials as well as access low cost resources you can immediately use with your students. It is also a wonderful resource for families. 

10/31/12 - Update

Say It With Symbols is another resource filled with free symbols, communication boards and social stories. Please include this site in your favorites and share it with everyone! This next site has many different PECS downloads. It also has real photos as well. Children with Special Needs. 

11/17/12 - Update

Blissymbols have been around for a very long time and were used much more in the beginning when we were developing picture symbolic communication systems. They are still useful and may be a match for some students. At this time there does not exist a unified symbol set. We have to always be cautious on how we choose symbols and put the student at the center of the process. The Bliss symbols are free. Here is the link to download them: Blissymbolics Communication International.

1/5/13 - Update

Here are two excellent resources shared by Amy Wolfson, SLP: Vocabulary Flashcards & Photographic Dictionary.


Here are two other resources of free materials on a variety of topics. The materials exchange allows you to download a number of teaching resources and communication displays as PDF file. Materials Exchange

The second resource: Special Education Technology in British Columbia (SET) has a large selection of free activities across a variety of software programs which are accessible to learners who use symbols and may have varied access methods.


Free adult and child communication boards: Amy Speech & Language Therapy .

Speaking of Speech is another resource with free boards.

This is an outstanding resource and overview of symbol sets: Symbol WHAT


This has tons of free adapted resources for classrooms of all ages.

FDLRS & ESE Boardmaker Resources

No comments:

Post a Comment