Four image bases are included in PictureMyLife
Pictogram, Ritade Tecken, Widgit and Svenskt Teckenspråkslexikon
(For now the images can only be searched for in Swedish. We aim to update the search function with additional versions together with search words in English.)
Pictogram is a visual language especially designed for people with limited abilities to communicate, i e difficulties to speak, read and/or write. The black and white images facilitates communication – the images can for example help you to:
make others understand you, and your needs and desires
ask questions and get answers
support memory and thoughts
express feelings and desires
Pictogram © Specialpedagogiska skolmyndigheten. Länk till webbsidan: https://www.pictogram.se/
Ritade Tecken are used together with speech and is a great support for language development both visually and also when it comes to physical movement and motor skills. The images are developed to support the alternative communication method using sign language as an alternative and complementary tool – TAKK (Tecken som Alternativ och Kompletterande Kommunikation).
Ritade Tecken © Specialpedagogiska skolmyndigheten (school authority for special needs education in Sweden).
Link to the website: https://www.ritadetecken.se/
Widgit are colorful symbols and images that illustrates both simple and more advanced situations and concepts. With topics that covers a wide range of subject areas, making them suitable for all ages and different needs for communication with images.
Widgitsymboler © Widgit Software/Hargdata 2017.
Link to the website: https://www.symbolbruket.se/
Svenskt Teckenspråkslexikon (Swedish sign language lexicon/dictionary) consists of short videos with sign language.
© Avdelningen för teckenspråk, Institutionen för lingvistik, Stockholms universitet (Department of Sign Language, Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University)
Link to the website: http://teckensprakslexikon.su.se/
Reflections and tips
We have intervjued special educators regarding the use of images as an alternative and complementary tool for communication. Here are a few tips and links to videos from these intervjues: youtube.com/PictureMyLife
Which type of image should I use?
It is a challenge to find the right type of images, symbols and/or signs that works for a specific individual. Each individual has different ways and capacity to perceive and interpret images and their purpose. The black and white symbols might be the only thing that works for some individuals since they give a clean and distinct impression. Yet others might need images in color to be able to understand and relate to the meaning of an image. That is why it is of great importance to adjust the communication individually and to consider what would be the best way to enhance the communication.
Some individuals can only relate to images that looks exactly as it does in real life. Others need actual photos of the world just around them to comprehend the meaning of the images. The recognition and familiarity of an image can create a sense of safety and security and it can also be easier to relate to. Tips! Take a photo of the road that is the actual road where you will go for a walk together another day. Look at and talk about the photo of the road, before you go out to be totally prepared.
Comprehension of images – varying capacity to interpret images
An image that is not clear and obvious, but rather confusing and not understandable, can cause anxiety instead of the opposite. The step from understanding a three dimensional object to a flat simplified image of that same object can be quite huge for some individuals. Tips! To create a better understanding, use the actual objects to compare with the images. Place the objects in a bookcase and have cards with images of the objects close by to compare and talk about the images and the objects. Switch objects and images on a regular basis to make it interesting to talk about the objects and learn.