Tawasol Symbols: Alternative Augmented Communication Pictograms to Support the Inclusion During Pandemics

Achraf Othman, Aisha Al-Sinani

Book chapter in Radical Solutions for Education in a Crisis Context | Springer | 2020

Since December 2019, we lived in unique times as a result of the COVID-19 virus in the entire world. Effective communication is always essential for everyone including persons with disabilities and in particular persons with communication impairment. Thanks to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), access to information became easier for everyone. Everyone in the world needs to understand what is happening during natural disasters and pandemic in particular. All of them need to be able to express needs, to learn, and, to access important information, in particular, for persons with communication difficulties. For them, using pictograms, called also symbols, is a way to communicate regardless of the person’s language or literacy skills (writing and reading). Therefore, they may benefit from using pictograms to communicate, express their needs, and to access education and culture domains. This paper presents an overview of Mada’s experience on how to train the Alternative Augmented Communication pictograms during the pandemic and natural disasters using Tawasol Symbols (AAC), and to highlight the key findings of the initiative. In addition, the implementation of several platforms to support persons with disabilities will be showcased toward enabling their inclusion in society.

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