Removing Barriers to Communication

Hanover School Division has installed playground communication boards (Core Boards) at 14 elementary and middle schools. These boards were developed in consultation with HSD Speech-Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists to meet the needs of students who are minimally speaking or non-speaking when they are outside on the playground.

The concept is based on Proloquo2go, a widely-used computer program used by students with communication barriers, particularly vocabulary difficulties. The installed boards are double-sided panels that display tiles with images describing an action, emotion, or item and the corresponding word. Visual tiles are helpful for non-speaking or minimally speaking students on the playground when they don’t have their communication devices or cards that they would typically have available to them in a classroom setting. By placing communication boards on the playground, if a problem arises, if a child wants to tell someone something or if they want to request something, students will now have a voice.

The playground communication boards will not only benefit students who are non-speaking or minimally speaking. The boards will also help those students who are language disordered, English Language Learners, Deaf or Hard of Hearing and those who struggle to communicate when upset because of past trauma or social-emotional difficulties.

The Core Boards project received funding through the Manitoba Accessibility Fund.