Communication Vocabularies / Resources

The following resources are intended as general resources and are not necessarily endorsed or recommended by CDAC.
Abuse / Crime and Legal Vocabulary

  • Relationships and Identity
  • Body Parts
  • Words about Sex
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Physical Abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Decision-making about disclosures
  • Discrimination
  • Crimes
  • Police
  • Legal People and Places
  • Legal Procedures and outcomes

Developer: Communication Disabilities Access Canada
Available: Here

Boardmaker Picture Library

Communicating About Sexuality symbols were developed by CDAC in collaboration with Mayor-Johnson. It contains over 400 Picture Communication Symbols (English only), and 48 communication boards focusing on the expression of sexuality.

Developer: Communication Disabilities Access Canada and Mayer Johnson.
Available for purchase: Here


LegalPix uses symbols and pictures to depict various legal scenarios that assist persons with special communication needs and their instructors/caregivers in understanding the justice system in British Columbia. Topics include:

  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Landlord and Tenancy
  • Preparing Victims and Witnesses for Court – Card set
  • CD that includes all the LegalPix symbols and pictures

Developer: Justice Education Society of BC.
Available: Here

Pictures for Children

Images designed primarily for children already using Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems (AAC). The images allow children to be negative (‘I hate you’), to assert themselves (‘it`s not fair’, ‘it`s my turn’) and to describe a range of touches (tickle, rub, squeeze, hug) including painful things that may have happened to them (hit, smack, kick). There are 383 images available in the set. They are divided into five sections:

  • Feelings
  • Rights and safety
  • General vocabulary
  • Personal care
  • Sexuality

Developer: Triangle (UK)
Available for purchase: Here

Picture this

Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick. Publications about:

  • Abuse and Violence
  • Consumer and Non-profit law
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Going to Court
  • Housing and Property
  • You and your rights
  • Youth and the law

Developer: Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick
Available: Here

Communication 4ALL

Communications displays created to use during times of emergency. Boards available include adult picture and letter board and child picture and letter board.
Developer: Bryen, Kershaw and Bornman: Institute on Disabilities, Temple University, Centre for AAC, University of Pretoria
Available: Here

Talking Mats

Survivor Scotland Project: Training resources and program to assist communication with survivors of child abuse who have learning disabilities. – in development: May 2013
Developer: Talking Mats
Information: Here

Talk about abuse

This vocabulary set was designed to assist the work of Intermediaries in their role of supporting people with communication difficulties when being interviewed by the police and in any subsequent court appearances. Vocabulary displays arranged in ways that can be used to describe people / places and events.
Developer: Janet Larcher and Widget software
Available for purchase: Here

Communication Aid for Capacity Evaluation

A communicatively accessible capacity evaluation process to help health care professionals determine whether or not people living with communication barriers have the capacity to decide where they shall live. This evaluation is designed to be used with individuals who need help to understand information and to express themselves. It was designd to be used with people living with aphasia.
Developer: Alex Carling-Rowland
Available from Aphasia Institute, Toronto: Here

Say No to abuse

Pamphlet about understanding what abuse is and how to identify it, written in easy English with symbols.
Developer: Made with Symbols for Life
PDF version Available: Here

Victims of Crimes Information

Handouts about violent crimes and victim impact statements written in simple English with symbols.
Developer: Victims Support Agency, Department of Justice State of Victoria
Available: Here

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