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These are a few of my favorite things! All the things you need for DIY low tech!

Author-Avatar Deirdre McLaughlin

12/5/2018 3:10 AM

These are a few of my favorite things...cue the sound of music! Materials that are so handy when crafting low tech systems of all kinds! People including far more crafty individuals than myself have trialed and errored many materials over the years so you don’t have to! This is what I know of. If others have suggestions comment below to share!

Secure pages of symbols of communication books together:


Air craft cable rings: Unlike binder rings which can become misaligned and lose pages and zip ties which don’t allow you to add pages after they are secured,  these rings have twist closures. They can be found at all kinds of retailers including Amazon: Aircraft cable keychain rings

Binding machine: Binding machines allow you to quickly punch pages and bind a book together. This type of binding may also last longer. 

Support visual and motor access:


Glitter glue gun sticks: Use red sparkly glue gun sticks to highlight distinctive features on symbols. I’ve known people to purchase at dollar tree! See image below to see what highlighting with glitter glue could look like. 

Pom poms: Make page turning easier by using different sized Pom poms at the corners of the page. Larger pom poms will increase spacing between pages and will increase participation and/or independence during page turning. This is great for creating symbol-adapted or adapted books. 

Pipe cleaners: The benefit of using a visual highlighting tool to increase visual attention to symbols or to features of symbols cannot be emphasized enough. Red/yellow pipe cleaners and better yet red and gold glitter pipe cleaners are your best friends. See picture below of a visual highlighting tool. 

Matte lamination sheets (5 mm): Non-reflective sheets prevent distraction of reflection of light off sheet. This is particularly useful with supporting vision in individuals who have CVI. 

Soft gel-paint adhesives: Put over symbol to increase dimensionality or create border and edges. A less expensive and potentially more durable version of puffy paint. 

Display symbols


Tri-fold poster board: Fold into wedge to display symbols on one of three sides or open up to support visual attention to symbols in center by reducing visual complexity. 

Velcro dots: Quick and easy way to secure symbols! Different sizes and strengths and no more sticky scissors!

Aprons: This is so great for group based activities with AAC users (circle time, story telling) and leaves you with your hands free by placing symbols on an Apron. 

Binders: Organizing symbols in binder is so portable and symbols can be displayed on front or within binder. Check out this organization below in picture for storage and display. The symbols are stored within the binder and displayed for choice making on the front using a felt backing. 

SGD/Communication device,2-dimensional symbols,3-dimensional symbols,Level 5. Concrete Symbols,Level 6. Abstract Symbols,Level 7. Language,Speech-Language Pathologist,Educator,Parent/Family Member,Occupational Therapist,Physical Therapist,Researcher,Developer Vendor,Intervention Strategies

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