Widgit Symbols - Sensory Therapy Gardens Fact Sheet


Published on

Widgit Symbols - Sensory Therapy Gardens Fact Sheet

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Widgit Symbols - Sensory Therapy Gardens Fact Sheet

  1. 1. Sensory Trust information sheetAccessible information - Widgit symbolsSymbols are widely used on road signs, in information would look and read like if youairports and stations, in shopping centres tried to translate it into French using just aand at visitor attractions. They help to dictionary. For single words such as toilet,communicate ideas quickly and simply, exit, café, 10mins, a direct translation ishelping people visualise and remember appropriate, however for longer sentenceswhat they have read. and for communicating complicated and This principle has been developed into abstract concepts more experience iscomprehensive symbol languages, providing required and you are probably best off calling in an expert (www.widgit.com).much greater support than basic directionaland safety icons. These symbol languages For longer text such as interpretationgive people with learning disabilities in signs Widgits can be used supported (with text underneath the symbols) orparticular the opportunity to understand unsupported (no text). Often the contentsand experience the world in a way that of an interpretation sign are best reducedmeets their needs. down to a sentence of symbols that communicate the key theme.What is Widgit?Widgits are a pictorial language of symbols Widgits in every-day materialsused predominantly for people with learning Symbols have been used to support readingdisabilities. The symbols have developed and writing in special schools since theover the past 20 years and they are used in mid ‘80s and have been used extensivelymany countries worldwide in 15 languages since the recommendations by the National(overseas symbol users can recognise the Curriculum Council Guidance in the lateWidgit symbols used in the UK). 1990s. As students leave these schools There are over 7000 images in both however they find that symbols are nocolour and black and white covering a longer an integral part of daily life.vocabulary of over 20,000 words. This Including symbols and making simplifiedvocabulary is continually being extended symbol supported information includesand gives access to a wide range of topics these users in the environment, and givesand curricular areas. positive messages to everybody that this The symbols are clear, concise and group are an important part of society.suitable for all ages. They have beencarefully designed to illustrate a singleconcept without adding unnecessaryinformation such as gender. They all share acommon structure allowing users to developtheir own vocabulary.How to use WidgitsIt is important to understand how symbolswork before you include them in yourinformation material or on your signs. Aswith all languages it is not a question ofdirect, literal translation. Imagine what your
  2. 2. In brief 1 Using symbols helps everyone, but in particular people with learning duisabilities, understand information 2 A symbol can simply illustrate a word, but it can do much more than that. It is a graphic representation of a concept 3 Symbols used in public spaces also benefit a wide range of other people, including young children, foreign visitors and adults with poor literacy skillsWidgits at Eden ProjectEden has been an active partner in thedevelopment of accessible information usingWidgits. Using symbols demonstrates theircommitment to inclusion and provides The Sensory Trust promotes anda welcoming and engaging environment supports the creation and managementfor people with learning disabilities, their of outdoor spaces that can be used andfriends and families as well as for people enjoyed by everyone, regardless of agewith low literacy and overseas visitors. or ability.Positive feedback has shown how excited Visit www.sensorytrust.org.ukvisitors were to find the same symbols as or contact:the ones they used in their centre or school. Sensory Trust, Watering Lane Nursery,Several people have actually visited after Pentewan, St.Austell, Cornwall PL26hearing that Widgits were being used. 6BE Tel: +44 (0)1726 222900Widgits at Sensory Trust Fax: +44 (0)1726 222901Sensory Trust has been involved in the Email: enquiries@sensorytrust.org.ukuse of Widgits for signage, interpretationand information at the Eden Project andat National Trust properties. We have runtraining sessions with Eden design staff toenable them to develop their own resourcesfor exhibits, signs and education. Widgits are very useful when carrying outconsultation and community engagementwork. By using Widgits in our work we This document has been set in 11.25pointenable people with learning difficulties to APHont, a font developed by the Americancommunicate their experiences and feelings Printing House for the Blind.directly without having to rely on a carer orfamily member to speak on their behalf. www.aph.org/products/aphont.html