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Global Systems: Design and Use of Symbols that Reflect Local Language and Culture

June 4, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

We will explore the development and use of AAC symbols across diverse languages and cultures. The experience of developing the Arabic Tawasol open symbol set led directly to the creation of Global Symbols with participatory approaches to localization and contextualization of symbols to reflect community needs. All symbols, tools and training resources are published openly, resulting in collaboration with international agencies to increase AAC usage globally.

Register for Webinar: June 2019 Webinar Registration

PLEASE NOTE: Only the first 100 attendees to log into the webinar will be guaranteed spots.

Files: ASHA CEU Participant Form, Certificate of Attendance

Please give us your feedback on this webinar by completing the Participant Survey

About the Presenters:

David Banes works as a consultant and trainer and was formerly CEO, at Mada, Qatar Assistive
Technology Centre addressing all aspects of access and inclusion through technology. He currently
is working across the Middle and Far East, Europe and Africa with a focus upon building access
infrastructure from policy to practice. Recent projects include the development of a response to
disruptive innovation in the access industry, identifying solutions to meeting the needs of refugees
with a disability, and building a business case for public investment in assistive technology, whilst
supporting entrepreneurs to bring products and services to market. He has a special interest in
AAC having been a teacher of children with complex needs during the early part of his career.

E.A. Draffan trained as a Speech and Language Therapist initially working in clinics and a large
general hospital and began specializing in Assistive Technology across all disabilities. She moved
into education but her interests remain focused on the successful use of assistive technology
strategies for those with communication and literacy difficulties with work involving the use of
apps, e-books, speech generating devices, text to speech and AAC symbol support.

Moderated By:

Sarah Blackstone

Participants will learn:

  • The importance of language and cultural influences on symbol design for communication
  • How democratizing symbol design can support effective symbol sets
  • The value of open licensing as the basis of extending the availability of AAC globally
  • Sources of open symbols and resources

Time ordered agenda:

  • 5 Minutes: Introduction of Speaker, USSAAC and Topic
  • 5 Minutes: Why do we need Global Systems?
  • 10 Minutes: Symbol designs for language and cultural diversity – Lessons learnt from Tawasol
  • 10 Minutes: Democratizing symbol design – The Global Symbol model and tools
  • 10 Minutes: Globalsymbols.com – interoperability and API
  • 10 Minutes: Future issues and plans – the role of AI in AAC
  • 5 Minutes: Summary
  • 5 Minutes: Q & A

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) CEUs in speech-language pathology and audiology are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the CEU Participant Form from the ASHA Approved CE Provider, USSAAC. CEU Participant Forms are available onsite at Registration. ASHA CEUs are provided to full registrations. This program is offered for .1 ASHA CEUs (Introductory Level, Professional Area). 

ASHA Disclosures:

Presenter and moderator have no financial or non-financial disclosures to report.


Sarah Blackstone, Betsy Caporale, Gretchen Cole-Lade, Amy Goldman, Amanda
Hettenhausen, Mike Hipple, Richard Hurtig, Stephanie Meehan, Wendy Quach,
Lisa Timm


June 4, 2019
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:

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