A new addition to several CUSD #205 playgrounds will allow more children to enjoy outdoor fun. The new communication boards were installed over the summer months at Bright Futures Early Learning Center, King Elementary, Silas Willard Elementary, Steele Elementary, and Lombard Middle School.
The large, colorful boards are an example of AAC, which stands for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. They are designed for students who have Autism, intellectual disabilities, hearing loss, and/or language difficulties to interact with each other using visuals on the board. The boards can also support communication for English Language Learners.
Teachers will be modeling how to use the communication boards and will be able to take advantage of teachable moments on the playground. Students can request, comment, describe, and ask questions while using the board.
Tara DeWitt, CUSD #205 Speech-Language Pathology Coordinator, planned and designed the boards with LessonPix. According to Tara, "These communication boards will allow students to access language and communication on the playground. All students, including those with Autism, intellectual disabilities, hearing loss, and/or language difficulties, will be able to request help and ask others to play. All communication forms are valid, whether it be sign language, an electronic device, verbal speech, or in this case, using visuals. Everyone deserves a voice - everywhere."