Rowlett, TX, February 21, 2023 –(PR.com)– Communication bulletin boards are an invaluable tool for children with autism and nonspeaking children to express their thoughts and feelings without the use of verbal language . They have been a tool that many school districts have included in their playgrounds. Even city parks have begun to realize the importance of adding communication panels to their parks and playgrounds.
Public libraries, swimming pools and water parks are just starting to realize the importance of making their spaces inclusive for non-verbal children. Water parks can greatly benefit from the use of communication panels, as they can help both children and parents feel more comfortable and safe while enjoying the attractions. What makes water parks and public pools one of the most vital locations for these communication boards is the fact that children who use a device to communicate can’t actually bring their speech generating device near water.
One of the main benefits of communication panels in water parks is that they provide an opportunity for children with autism or children who cannot speak to express themselves. For example, some communication cards feature visuals that help kids express their emotions and needs, such as “happy,” “sad,” “thirsty,” “hungry,” and more. This can be especially beneficial for children on the autism spectrum, as they often have difficulty expressing their emotions through verbal language. Additionally, communication boards can also help non-speaking children communicate more effectively with their peers and adults.
Another benefit of communication panels in water parks is that they provide a sense of safety and security for both children and parents. Communication panels can help children feel more comfortable in unfamiliar situations and can help parents feel more comfortable when in a busy environment. For example, if a child is feeling overwhelmed in a noisy environment, she can point to a bulletin board to communicate that he needs some quiet time. This can be especially useful in water parks, which can often be overwhelming for both children and parents.
Until recently, when an organization was interested in making their space more inclusive for non-speaking children and adults, they had to create their own message boards. This time-consuming and overwhelming task requires licensing the appropriate images, hiring a designer, finding an appropriate durable material, and a printing company. Now, organizations can easily order communication cards from Smarty Symbols.
Renee Reis, Aquatics Supervisor for the City of Overland Park in Kansas, is responsible for making one of their facilities more inclusive with the addition of a communication panel. Overland Park staff recently completed a swim lesson program called ‘Swim Angelfish’ to make their swimming lessons more inclusive. Renee is also working to make the facility more inclusive.
“Recently one of our parks, which is our first inclusive park, also added a message board. I also have a sister who works in special education and is a blogger for Autism Helper. Seeing her work, I knew that I had to do better to serve our community. I visited the park and wanted something similar. After seeing a post on Facebook, I did some research and found that Smarty Symbols make them specific to the pool setting. We offer a swim for people and their families with special needs so they can enjoy the pool and knew it would be a great feature to add.” – Renee Reis
Smarty Symbols is a Texas-based company that has created a diverse and inclusive image library for educators. They have embarked on a mission to make public spaces more inclusive for children with disabilities with communication panels designed for different spaces. Organizations can work with Smarty Symbols to customize the board with the park logo, name and location. The organization receives a ready-to-install communications card within days. All communications from Smarty Symbols can be viewed on their dedicated communications tab website.
Overall, communication panels in water parks can make a huge difference for both children and adults. They can help children with autism or children who are non-speakers to express themselves more effectively, and can provide a sense of security and comfort for both children and parents. This can help create a more enjoyable experience for all involved and can help ensure that everyone has a good time.