Playground Communication Boards by Smarty Symbols

FAQs about Communication Boards

Here, you’ll find answers to the most commonly asked questions about our innovative communication tools. Our goal is to help you understand how these boards can enhance communication, learning, and play in various settings, from school playgrounds to community parks.

What is the different between both playground communication board designs for schools?

The main difference between the two playground communication board designs for schools is the number of words included on the board. The School Playground Communication Board features a total of 78 words and is designed for elementary schools from kindergarten to 5th grade, while the Simplified School Playground Communication Board features a total of 55 words and is designed specifically for pre-K playground environments. Both boards are weather-resistant, fully customizable, and promote communication and social interaction among students. The School Playground Communication Board includes a wider range of vocabulary words and is suitable for a broader age range of students, while the Simplified School Playground Communication Board is designed with younger students in mind and features essential vocabulary words that are most relevant to pre-K playground settings.

What are Playground Communication Boards by Smarty Symbols?

Playground Communication Boards by Smarty Symbols are custom designed communication boards designed to make spaces more inclusive for all communicators. They utilize our diverse and inclusive library of symbols to support effective learning and interaction.

Can I customize the symbols on the communication boards?

Absolutely! Customization is at the heart of Smarty Symbols. You can select from over 60,000 images in our Smarty Symbols Image Library to tailor the communication boards to your specific educational requirements.

Where can I purchase Playground Communication Boards?

You can purchase our Communication Boards directly from our website. You can also send a purchase order or request a quote using our contact form.

Are there training or support materials available for using the communication boards?

Yes, we provide a range of support materials and training guides to help you make the most out of your Communication Boards. These resources are designed to help you implement and use our products effectively in your educational settings.

Category: Customizations

Absolutely! If you have a unique idea or specific requirements that go beyond the standard customization options, Smarty Symbols can create fully custom designs tailored to your needs. To request a custom design, simply reach out to the Smarty Symbols team with your concept and requirements, and they will provide you with a custom quote based on the complexity and scope of your project.

By offering fully custom designs, Smarty Symbols ensures that their communication boards can be adapted to a wide range of environments, user needs, and preferences, providing the most effective and engaging communication tools possible.

Category: Customizations

Yes, Smarty Symbols can certainly replace vocabulary and images on the boards to better suit the needs and characteristics of your specific space. For example, if your playground doesn’t have a monkey bar but features unique equipment not typically found in other playgrounds, Smarty Symbols can modify the words and images accordingly for a fee.

This level of customization ensures that your communication board accurately reflects the environment in which it is placed and provides users with the most relevant and helpful visual cues for effective communication. To request such customizations, please provide the necessary details and preferences when placing your order, and the Smarty Symbols team will work with you to create a board that best serves your needs.

Category: Customizations

Absolutely! If the cost of your communication board is sponsored by another organization, Smarty Symbols would be more than happy to include the sponsor’s logo or recognition on the board design. This not only acknowledges the sponsor’s generosity and support but also helps to foster a sense of community and partnership between organizations.

When placing your order, please provide the necessary details and files related to the sponsor’s logo or recognition, and Smarty Symbols will work with you to ensure the design meets your expectations and appropriately showcases the sponsor’s involvement.

Yes, we do! We offer a Simplified School Playground Communication Board which contains 55 essential words. While we understand that some customers may want a board with even fewer words, we believe that even preschoolers should have access to a rich and diverse vocabulary. The number of words a preschooler should know can vary based on various factors, such as their age, language exposure, and development. On average, a 3-year-old child may know about 300 to 500 words, while a 4-year-old child may know about 1,500 to 1,600 words.

We actually think that 55 words is already very limiting for these young learners. Our goal is to provide students with the tools they need to communicate effectively, and we always assume competence, even for students with a current lower vocabulary. We recommend the Simplified School Playground Communication Board as the best option for a preschool playground, as it provides a comprehensive range of vocabulary while still being easy to use for young children.

purchase a school playground communication board by smarty symbols 3 2
purchase a school playground communication board by smarty symbols 3 2

At Smarty Symbols, we strongly believe that every child should be encouraged to learn and grow, including their vocabulary. While we understand the concern of wanting to simplify the board, we do not recommend reducing the number of words on the board. The expected vocabulary for preschool children is significant and we want to ensure that the children have the opportunity to be exposed to as many words as possible. We always assume competence in children, even if they have a lower vocabulary at the moment, and our communication boards are designed to help them learn and grow their vocabulary over time. We believe that every child deserves the chance to express themselves fully, and our communication boards are an important tool in supporting their communication and language development.

Categories: Customizations, Ordering

The time it takes to receive your communication boards from Smarty Symbols depends on several factors, such as the design process, manufacturing, and shipping time.

  1. Design process: After placing your order and providing the necessary customization details, the design team will create the layout for your board. This process typically takes around 4 to 5 days. Once the design is completed, a PDF proof will be sent to you for approval or any requested modifications. The production won’t begin until you are satisfied with the design and have approved the proof.
  2. Manufacturing: Once the design is approved, the manufacturing process begins. This usually takes about 4 days to complete, depending on the material and customization options selected.
  3. Shipping: Shipping time varies depending on your location. Boards are shipped free to all continental US and Canada addresses. Keep in mind that the delivery time will depend on the shipping carrier and any potential delays or issues that may arise during transit.

In summary, it may take approximately 2-3 weeks from the time you place your order until you receive your communication boards, considering the design, manufacturing, and shipping processes. However, this timeline is an estimate and may vary based on your specific circumstances.

Discover the ease and simplicity of ordering a Smarty Symbols Playground Communication Board for your city park. Our website allows you to choose from a variety of communication board designs for city parks and customize to your specific needs for an instant quote. Payment options include purchase orders from cities or credit card payments. Our team will guide you through the design process and provide step-by-step installation guidelines. Ensure inclusive and accessible parks for all children, including non-speaking children, with Smarty Symbols. Contact us today to learn more.

We love when cities are interested in becoming more inclusive. Here are the steps to making sure your city parks have a communication board:

  1. Visit our website: Choose the communication board design for city parks, select your customization options, and generate an instant quote on screen. You can even make the initial purchase directly on the website using a credit card.
  2. Reach out to us: If you need assistance, a member of our team will be happy to advise you on board selection and provide you with a custom quote.
  3. Payment options: We accept purchase orders from cities and also allow for credit card payments.
  4. Design process: Once payment is received, a member of our team will reach out to gather resources for the board design, including your city logo, park name and location, color options, and any additional customizations.
  5. Proof and production: Our design team will create a proof of the final design for your approval and feedback. Once approved, production of the communication board will begin and take 3 to 7 days.
  6. Shipping and installation: The boards are shipped free of charge and come with step-by-step installation guidelines.
  7. Final invoice and promotion: After receiving the board, we will issue a final invoice for payment and ask if you would like us to promote your inclusive efforts through our social media channels and with the disability community.
  8. We are dedicated to making sure that parks and playgrounds are inclusive and accessible for all children, and we are here to support you every step of the way!
warrent city proof small smartysymbols playground communication board
warrent city proof small smartysymbols playground communication board
Category: Customizations

Nearly everything! Smarty Symbols is committed to providing communication boards that cater to the unique needs of each client. For example, we use the Fitzgerald Key color scheme, which means that we can replace verbs and words of choice on your board; however we would not change the background color of the verbs to brown for example. Some of the available customizations include: However we do only customize keeping industry standards.

  1. Organization Name: The boards can be personalized with the name of the clinic or school where they will be used. This adds a professional touch and helps create a sense of ownership and pride in the communication tool.
  2. Logo Integration: Customers can request to have their organization’s logo added to the board, enhancing brand recognition and creating a more cohesive visual identity within their space.
  3. Color Matching: Smarty Symbols can match the color of the board to your organization’s logo, ensuring a consistent and professional appearance that complements your branding.
  4. Sponsor Recognition: If the cost of your communication board is sponsored by another organization, Smarty Symbols would be more than happy to include the sponsor’s logo or recognition on the board design. This not only acknowledges the sponsor’s generosity and support but also helps to foster a sense of community and partnership between organizations.

VOCABULARY CUSTOMIZATIONS:

Smarty Symbols can certainly replace vocabulary and images on the boards to better suit the needs and characteristics of your specific space. For example, if your playground doesn’t have a monkey bar but features unique equipment not typically found in other playgrounds, Smarty Symbols can modify the words and images accordingly for a fee. See our fee schedule directly on each product page. If you need a custom quote, feel free to message us directly.

CUSTOM ICON

We can also illustrate a custom icon for spaces that are truly unique. Just send us a photograph of the playground equipment you would like us to create a one of a kind image for.

When we choose symbols for children who have difficulty speaking, it’s important to give them a chance to try different symbol sets to see which ones they understand and prefer. This is because not all children understand the same symbols, and it wouldn’t be fair to choose symbols that are used by the majority of children if they don’t work well for others.

Research has shown that children who use alternative communication methods can understand symbols even if they look different from one set to another. This means that giving children access to multiple symbol sets can help them improve their language and communication skills. It also shows that children who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) are capable of generalizing the representation of symbols across different symbol sets. This means that they can recognize and use the same symbol across different symbol sets, even if they were not directly taught that symbol in that particular set.

There is research that shows that children can generalize the representation of symbols across different symbol sets. One study published in the Augmentative and Alternative Communication journal in 2018 found that children with complex communication needs were able to learn and generalize symbols across multiple symbol sets, including those with different graphic styles and organization. The study suggests that providing access to multiple symbol sets can benefit children’s language development and communication skills. Another study published in the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology in 2016 found that preschool children who were trained to use a particular symbol set were able to generalize to novel words represented by different symbol sets. Overall, these studies suggest that children have the ability to generalize symbol representations across different symbol sets, which supports the use of multiple symbol sets in communication boards and other AAC devices.

  1. Drager, K. D., Postal, V. J., Carrolus, L., Castellano, M., Gagliano, C., Glynn, J., & Osgood, R. (2006). A comparison of graphic symbol systems and the performance of typically developing preschool-aged children on the ABLLS-R expressive communication subtest. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 49(6), 1197-1213. doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2006/087)
  2. Binger, C., & Light, J. (2007). The effect of aided AAC modeling on the expression of multi-symbol messages by preschoolers who use AAC. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 23(1), 30-43. doi: 10.1080/07434610600816300

In addition to the research supporting generalization across different symbol sets, Smarty Symbols offers a unique advantage in promoting diversity and inclusion. Many symbol sets on the market today offer limited options for character representation and lack modern images that may better resonate with students. Smarty Symbols was designed with diversity and belonging in mind, offering a range of inclusive images that better reflect today’s diverse society. By allowing students to embrace and connect with modern, inclusive images, educators and SLPs can better support their students’ communication development and overall well-being. Ultimately, it is important to choose a symbol set that aligns with your values and promotes the best outcomes for your students.

Got More Questions? Just reach out to our team!

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