Symbols for People with Learning Difficulties

Lynsey Robinson, Sensory Trust

Part of the Sensory Trust’s work involves experimenting with new ways of providing information that is accessible to as many people as possible. To that end, we are working with Symdata Technologies Ltd and Widgits Software Ltd to promote and extend the use of the Widgit Rebus Symbol Set in signage and interpretation in public spaces.

Symbols have been used to support face to face communication for those with little or no speech since the early 1970's. More recently symbols have been used to support the development of literacy skills and the use of text by those whose experience of text is limited.

The Widgit Rebus Symbol Set now contains more than 6000 symbols and is gaining increasing international recognition.

The Sensory Trust is pioneering the use of Widgit Rebus Symbols in exhibits at the Eden Project. Symbols can be seen on many of the information boards within the Biomes, and the story of coffee is told in Widgit Rebus Symbols along the side of the coffee boat exhibit in the Humid Tropics Biome.

Broadening the use of Widgit Rebus Symbols in outdoor signage enriches the experience for a wide range of people and increases opportunities for everyone to enjoy outdoor public spaces.

Read more about Widgit symbols, why we are using them and who benefits. And to see Widgits being used in practice, take a look at how we're using symbols at the Eden Project.