symbol information sheet in iPad

Welcome to a short course on Communication using Symbols

This 5 step guide is about using free images and symbols alongside other forms of communication to help with conversations when speaking and understanding may be difficult.  

    The course is available for download as a set of PowerPoint slides for a trainer working with trainees - the script can be seen in the speaker notes with activities. A version of the slides containing revealed symbols is available for printing.  The slides can also be printed out as a PDF with the trainer notes as annotations.  These can be toggled off if not required.  

     Access to the online course can be found below.

All versions have a short introduction about communication, followed by ideas for the creation of information sheets and communication boards, charts or cards with some activities. 

Study Times
Studying can happen at any time and the course is divided into short topics. Each topic might take around 30 minutes to complete with a series of activities. case studies, links to other resources and quizzes.


  •  Gain a basic understanding about communication and active listening to build conversations
  •  Make use of free images and symbols with labels, phrases and sentences to support communication in different settings
  •  Encourage conversations to support well being.

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Supported by the Covid-19 Action Fund

Communication using Symbols

The five steps can be dipped into at any stage and need no prior knowledge. 

They include:

  1. How we communicate
  2. Managing conversations
  3. Finding the right words and images
  4. Adapting images and symbols for each individual
  5. Creating opportunities to encourage conversations. 

There are activities, case studies and examples of communication boards and information charts with most steps.