Visual Resources for Enhancing Communication for Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Disabilities
Contributed by Beverly Vicker
Visual materials can support the expressive and comprehension communicative needs of many individuals. Expressive communication can be supported through various visual mediums as the person's needs and abilities change. Comprehension information can be presented in formats that include choice displays, sequences, schedules of events or activities, and behavioral reminders or guidelines. In addition to the visual resources listed below, there are a number of books, articles, catalogues, and websites which might also be helpful. These include:
- Hodgdon, L. (1995). Visual strategies for improving communication (Vol. 1): Practical supports for school and home. Solana Beach, CA: Mayer-Johnson Company.
- Hodgdon, L. (1999). Solving behavior problems in autism: Improving communication with visual strategies. Solana Beach, CA: Mayer-Johnson Company.
- Beukelman, D., & Miranda, P. (1998). Augmentative and alternative communication: Management of severe communication disorders in children and adults (2nd ed.) Baltimore, MD: Paul Brookes Publishing Company.
- Beukelman, D., McGinnis, J., & Morrow, D. (1991). Vocabulary selection in augmentative and alternative communication. AAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 7(3), 171-185.
- Vicker, B. (1996). Using tangible symbols for communication purposes: An optional step in building the two-way communication process. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University, Institute for the Study of Developmental Disabilities.
- References related to programming are located on the communication, and augmentative and alternative communication bibliographies available from the Indiana Resource Center for Autism. Catalogues from the various publishers will list other products that supplement the visual resources listed below.
- Websites to check for various information include the following:
www.aac.unl.edu (Vocabulary lists among other useful resources at this site maintained by the Barkley AAC Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.)
www.mrtc.org/~duffy/yaack (An alternative route to this site is www.cerebral.org/augcomm.html; then select Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Young Kids or YAACK.) Check out this website for information on a variety of topics relating to augmentative communication.
- Computer images from a digital camera or a scanner can supplement commercial resources. These can be used as a primary source for visual materials since such use would allow customization and personalization of visual images.
List of Visual Resources
The following listings are for information purposes only; no endorsement of companies, distributors, or products is implied by Indiana University, by the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, or by the Indiana Resource Center for Autism.
P.O. Box 930160
Verona, WI 53593-0160
Phone: (800) 327-4269
Fax: (800) 942-3865
Paper and CD-ROM versions of Picture Cues and Picture Prompts (especially for schedules and activity sequences)
6625 N. Sidney Place
Milwaukee, WI 53209-3259
Phone: (414) 352-5678
Fax: (414) 352-5679
Talking Pictures and Passports to Independence materials
|Don Johnston Company|
26799 W. Commerce Drive
Volvo, IL 60073
Phone: (800) 999-4660
Fax: (847) 740-0749
Inspiration, Picture It, Pix Reader, PCS symbol books, Boardmaker, and other materials
|Gallaudet University Press|
800 Florida Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002-3695
(202) 651-5488 (for information and catalogues)
(800) 621-2736 (voice for ordering) (888) 630-9347 (TTY for ordering)
Pictures for American Sign Language and Signed English concepts and vocabulary
P.O. Box 79093
Hulls, Quebec, Canada J8Y 6V2
Phone: (819) 772-8200
Fax: (819) 778-6252
See website for selective on-site distributors and on-line ordering from various companies
Photo-Object clip art collections
|Imaginart Communication Products|
307 Arizona Street
Bisbee, AZ 85603
Phone: (800) 828-1376
Fax: (800) 737-1376
Various Pick'n Stick pictures sets; Pick'n Stick on disk or CD-ROM; See'n Sign materials
55 Leveroni Court, Suite 9
Novato, CA 94949
Phone: (800) 899-6687
Fax: (415) 382-5950
IntelliPics, IntelliKeys, IntelliTalk, Overlay Maker, Math Pad ( do math problems directly on computer)
6526 Darlington Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Phone: (412) 521-8552
Fax: (412) 521-8556
Eye-cons (a collection of drawings on CD-ROM or customized printout)
PO Box 1579
Solana Beach, CA 92075-7579
Phone: (800) 588-4548
Fax: (858) 550-0449
Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) or PCS books including sign language symbols, training materials, Picture Exchange (PECS), Southeast Augmentative Communication publications, and CD-ROM materials such as Boardmaker and Board Builder.
|Poppin and Company|
P.O. Box 176
Unity, ME 04988
Phone: (207) 437-2746
Fax: (207) 437-2404
DynaSyms Cut and Paste book, stickers and CD-ROM DynaSyms
|Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc.|
226 West Park Place, Suite #1
Newark, DE 19711
Phone: (888) 732-7462
Fax: (302) 368-2516
Various pictures and training materials to support Picture Exchange Communication Training (PECS)1
|Silver Lining Multimedia, Inc.|
P.O. Box 2201
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Phone: (845) 462-8174
Fax: (845) 463-0437
Picture This (a CD-ROM program of photographed objects and actions)
|Slater Software, Inc.|
351 Badger Lane
Guffey, CO 80820
Phone: (719) 479-2255
Fax: (719) 479-2254
Picture It software (adds symbols to text) also PixWriter and PixReader
1 type of pictured or text material appropriate to the individual may be used for the PECS system; it is not necessary to only purchase pictured material from the parent company.
Vicker, B. (2003). Visual supports: Sources for symbols for receptive and expressive communication. The Reporter, 8(2), 14-16, 22.