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Unlocking Funding Opportunities for Communication Boards

From grants to grassroots efforts, explore the myriad of ways to secure funding for essential communication boards in your community.

Making Spaces More Inclusive

Invest in durability, not disposability.

Smarty symbols can help you from funding to installation of communication boards.
Funding Strategies & Support for Communication Boards

Funding Strategies & Support

Our team can provide guidance, advice and strategies to secure funding.

Custom Designs & Manufacturing Communication Boards

Custom Designs & Manufacturing

Once funding is secured, we design and manufacture the communication board.

Shipping and Installation Guidance

Shipping and Installation Guidance

We provide installation specifications and options that best fits your space.


Breaking Communication Barriers for 10 Years

At Smarty Symbols, we believe in the transformative power of communication. Our mission is to bridge communication barriers and foster meaningful connections for all. Our products and services are built with one goal: making inclusive communication and learning a reality in environments across the globe.

Visual Support Software

Smarty Symbols Studio offers an easy to use solution to create visual support anywhere.

Custom Communication Boards

Public spaces demand durable and quality materials. We design, customize and manufacture boards for various spaces.

City Playground Communication Board
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City Parks and Playgrounds

Unlike generic communication aids, our board is developed by AAC experts who understand the intricacies of effective and inclusive communication.


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School Playground

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How to get your communication board funded

Together, We Can Create Spaces Where Everyone is Heard, Seen and Valued

Special Education Department Funding for Communication Boards


Enhancing communication within educational settings is crucial for the success and inclusion of all students, particularly those with special needs. Many schools have designated funds through their special education departments specifically aimed at improving resources and tools for effective learning and communication. Communication Boards by Smarty Symbols are an excellent investment to enrich these environments.

Overview of Special Education Department Funds:

Special education departments often have allocated budgets to support the purchase of tools that aid in learning and communication for students with disabilities. These funds are typically provided to ensure that educational institutions can offer a high level of personalized learning and support, making them a vital resource for acquiring Communication Boards.

How to Advocate for Funding:

  • Engage with Special Education Departments:

    • Teachers, therapists, and families should actively engage with their school’s special education department. Discuss the specific needs of students and how Communication Boards can meet these needs, enhancing learning outcomes and inclusivity. 
  • Demonstrate the Impact:

    • Prepare to show concrete examples or case studies where Communication Boards have significantly improved communication and learning. Highlighting tangible benefits can help make a compelling case for their necessity. We have prepared a brochure, which can be shared with your special education director.
  • Outline the Benefits:

    • Emphasize the versatility and effectiveness of Communication Boards in various educational scenarios, including individual and group settings, and their role in fostering greater independence and engagement among students. 
  • Propose a Pilot Program:

    • Suggest starting with a pilot program that involves a set number of Communication Boards. This can serve as a practical demonstration of their impact, potentially leading to broader implementation based on successful results.


Potential Sources of Funds within the Education System:

  • IDEA Part B Funds: These federal funds are specifically designed to assist in the education of children with disabilities and can be used for resources like Communication Boards.
  • Title I Funds: Aimed at improving the academic achievement of the disadvantaged, this funding can support tools that aid students with special needs in low-income schools.
  • Local School Budgets: Regular school budgets often have allocations for special education resources; it’s worth discussing with school administrators how these funds are currently used and how they can be re-allocated or supplemented for necessary tools.
  • PTA/PTO Funding: Parent-Teacher Associations or Organizations sometimes raise funds that can be directed towards specific educational tools and resources. 
  • Education Grants and Philanthropic Contributions: Grants from local foundations, businesses, or educational nonprofits can also provide supplemental funding specifically for educational tools and resources. You can also explore the specific section related to grants.

PTA Funding Request Guide for Communication Boards

When approaching the PTA for funding, having a detailed and accurate cost breakdown is essential. Smarty Symbols offers a variety of customization options for our Communication Boards, allowing you to tailor them to your specific educational needs. This guide will walk you through selecting and customizing a board on our shop page, helping you generate a precise cost summary to present to your PTA.


Step-by-Step Guide to PTA Funding:

  1. Understand Your PTA’s Funding Capabilities:

    • Begin by gathering information about your PTA’s budget and past funding initiatives. Understanding what types of projects the PTA has supported in the past can give you insights into how best to frame your request.
  2. Prepare a Clear Proposal:

    • Draft a detailed proposal that includes:
      • The benefits of Smarty Symbols Communication Boards for students.
      • How these tools align with the school’s educational goals.
      • A print out of costs of the board which you can generate on our shop page.
      • A plan for installation which could also be an activity for the PTA.
    • Include links to the Smarty Symbols website and downloadable brochures that provide detailed information and visuals of the products.
  3. Engage with PTA Members Early:
        • Before formally submitting your proposal, discuss your ideas informally with key PTA members. Gaining early support can make a significant difference when it comes time to vote on funding.
  4. Arrange a call between our team and the PTA:
    • Our team would be happy to connect with your PTA either on a zoom call or by email. We would be more than happy to do a lot of the foot work for you. Just reach out to us with the best contact information and we can take it from there.
  5. Propose Initial and Future Implementations:

    • Suggest starting with a pilot implementation in a high-visibility area like the playground, then discuss potential expansions to other areas such as the library or the nurse’s room. This phased approach can demonstrate the boards’ effectiveness and facilitate gradual budget allocation.
  6. Follow Up:

    • People are busy and project never complete because we forget to follow up. Send regular emails and check on their plans.

Tips for Effective Communication:

  • Be Clear and Concise: When presenting your proposal, be clear and concise. Stick to the facts and benefits, and avoid overly technical language.
  • Be Passionate and Positive: Show your enthusiasm for how Smarty Symbols Communication Boards can make a difference. A passionate appeal can resonate well and influence decisions.
  • Be Prepared for Questions: Be ready to address potential questions or concerns regarding the implementation, costs, and outcomes of the project.

Crowdfunding for Playground Communication Boards: How to Champion Inclusivity in Public Spaces

Crowdfunding is a powerful tool to gather community support and raise funds for impactful projects, like installing Smarty Symbols communication boards in playgrounds. Inspired by success stories such as Ashley Causey’s initiative in Virginia Beach and Derek Walz’s project in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, this guide provides detailed steps on how to use crowdfunding to bring inclusive communication solutions to your local or school playgrounds.

Why Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding offers a unique platform to gather community support and funding needed to implement projects like playground communication boards. It allows you to reach a wide audience, engaging potential donors with your mission to make playgrounds more inclusive for every child, regardless of their communication abilities.

Step-by-Step Guide to Launching a Crowdfunding Campaign:

Step 1: Choose the Right Platform:

    • Select a crowdfunding platform that aligns with charitable or educational projects. Platforms like GoFundMe, Kickstarter, or Indiegogo are popular choices that provide the necessary tools and reach for a successful campaign.


Step 2: Create a Compelling Campaign Page

  • Storytelling: Share inspiring examples from Ashley Causey and Derek Walz to illustrate the potential impact of your project. Tell a compelling story about the specific needs and benefits for your community or school.
  • Visuals and Media: Include images and videos of potential locations for the board ( Feel free to grab them from our website). Visuals are powerful tools to help potential donors visualize the project’s impact.
  • Create and Display a Quote: Visit our shop page, use our quote builder to select options for the communication board. Once you have your quote displayed on the screen, take a screenshot and attach it to the project. Donors will be able to see the material, and details that will go into the cost of the project. This adds credibility to the campagin. Consider any costs associated with installing the communication board.
  • Clear Goals and Budget: Break down the financial goal clearly. Explain what funds will cover, such as the cost of the boards, installation, and any additional resources needed.

Here are some campaigns as examples: 


Step 3: Promote Your Campaign

  • Leverage Community Networks: Utilize local community groups, schools, and social media to promote the campaign. Engage local influencers or community leaders to help spread the word.
  • Regular Updates: Keep the community engaged with regular updates about the campaign’s progress. Share milestones and any changes or enhancements to the project plan.
  • Engagement Events: Consider organizing virtual or in-person events to drum up support and provide live demonstrations or discussions about the benefits of communication boards.

Step 4: Closing: Fund Reception and Transparency

  • Receiving Funds: Ensure transparency by clearly documenting how funds are received and managed. Crowdfunding platforms typically release funds to the designated account once the campaign ends successfully.
  • Transparent Reporting: Provide detailed reports to donors on how their contributions were used, aligning with the initial budget and project description.
  • Check Distribution: If receiving direct donations, ensure checks are payable to the appropriate entity (e.g., the school or community fund) and properly earmarked for the Smarty Symbols communication board project.

Step 5: Manage and Execute the Project

  • Ordering Boards: Once the funding goal is reached, order the customized Smarty Symbols communication boards.
  • Installation: Plan the installation process, ensuring that the boards are accessible and meet the community’s needs. We have an installation guide ready for you. Include community members in the installation process to foster a sense of ownership and involvement.

Using crowdfunding to fund Smarty Symbols communication boards can significantly enhance the inclusivity and functionality of playgrounds in your community or school. By following these detailed steps, you can successfully launch and complete a campaign that not only meets its financial goals but also fosters a strong sense of community involvement and support.

Engaging Local Businesses to Sponsor City Communication Boards: A Strategic Guide

Partnering with local businesses for the sponsorship of Smarty Symbols communication boards in city playgrounds offers a unique opportunity for these businesses to enhance their community visibility and goodwill. This guide will outline how to engage local businesses effectively, offering them not only a chance to contribute positively to the community but also to gain recognition through branded visibility on the communication boards.


Step 1: Identify Potential Business Sponsors

  • Target Local Businesses: Focus on businesses that have a stake in the community’s welfare, such as family-owned enterprises, local branches of larger companies, and those previously involved in community projects.
  • Highlight Community Impact: Prepare a presentation that clearly outlines how the communication boards will benefit the community, particularly enhancing inclusivity for children with communication needs.

Transforming Data into Intelligent Solutions

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Our experts understand the significance of quality data. We meticulously clean, preprocess, and transform your raw data into a structured format, laying the foundation for robust AI model training. Selecting the right machine learning algorithm is crucial. We bring our domain-specific knowledge to the table, choosing algorithms that align with your unique objective

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Our iterative training approach ensures your AI model learns intricate patterns and adapts to new information. We strike the perfect balance between simplicity and complexity, refining the model until it meets and exceeds predefined performance metrics.

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Government and Educational Grants for Communication Boards

Investing in the right educational tools can transform learning experiences and outcomes, especially for students with communication challenges. Government and educational grants are powerful resources that can help schools and institutions acquire the necessary tools, like Communication Boards by Smarty Symbols, to create more inclusive learning environments.

How to Access These Grants:

  1. Identify Relevant Grants:

    • Start by researching federal and state education grants that support special education and technology integration. Websites like and the U.S. Department of Education offer comprehensive listings and resources.
  2. Understand the Requirements:

    • Each grant has specific requirements regarding eligibility, application, and usage of funds. Ensure that your institution meets these criteria and that you can fulfill the grant’s objectives with the purchase of communication boards.
  3. Prepare a Strong Application:

    • Write a compelling proposal that outlines the benefits of communication boards in your educational setting. Highlight how these tools will aid in effective learning, inclusivity, and student engagement. Include data and case studies to strengthen your case.
  4. Leverage Support from Smarty Symbols:

    • As experts in visual educational tools, we can provide testimonials, evidence-based research, and additional documentation to support your application, showcasing the effectiveness of our Communication Boards.
  5. Submit and Follow-Up:

    • Once your application is complete, submit it by the grant deadline. Keep track of your submission and be prepared to provide additional information or participate in interviews or presentations as part of the evaluation process.
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