Waterford City and County Council, in partnership with Waterford Sports Partnership, has designed and installed communication boards in playgrounds throughout the city, with further roll-out scheduled for the county.
The communication boards consist of symbols, pictures and or photos that enable non-speaking or minimally speaking children to communicate with those around them.
By pointing to a specific image or symbol, those with speech and language difficulties will be able to communicate with those around them and minimise frustrations or misunderstandings.
The boards feature a variety of graphics representing feelings, actions, activities, and question symbols.
Sean Gormley, Acting Senior Executive Engineer with Waterford City and County Council said, “as part of Waterford City and County Council’s objective to make our playgrounds fun, enjoyable and accessible to all, we have started introducing the communication boards in 28 parks and play areas across the city and county. The boards have already been installed in the People’s Park, Ballybeg, Farronshoneen Park, Butler Community Centre and Mount Sion GAA grounds in the city, with delivery and installation scheduled in the coming weeks for the remaining sites.”
“For some children who have speech difficulties or find it difficult to communicate verbally, these boards make it easier to convey what they are trying to communicate. The symbols are clearly marked out and range from asking a question, to highlighting how they are feeling, or where they would like to go within the park. It’s a simple but very effective addition to our amenities and we hope it will encourage parents and families of non-speaking or minimally speaking children to enjoy all the facilities in our playgrounds.”
The communication boards were funded through Waterford Sports Partnership and manufactured by local print company, Graphic Image.
Source: Waterford City & County Council