Communication Boards and Picture Resources

Sample Activity Based Core Communication Boards

Here are some sample activity-based core language boards in PDF format. Print and go, or use one of the formats below to modify and make them your own. You can embed core into daily activities, such as bath time. Mount or print you board on oak tag, laminate and go!

Bathtime pic.PNG
core communication board with visual symbols for bath time.

High Contrast Communication Board

Boardmaker Format

Trial Version Download:

Boardmaker Share
A materials exchange area sponsored by Mayer-Johnson. There are TONS of great communication boards, visual supports, interactive activities, etc.

Miami-Dade Public Schools Activity-specific Downloads
This site has a ton of basic communication boards, books, device templates and a “words” book.

Baltimore City Public Schools
This website has several books that have been adapted using the Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) and the Mayer-Johnson program BoardMaker.

AT 4 Kids
Here are templates for low-tech core books for a way to get started

CALL Centre for Environmental Studies
This site has sets of BoardMaker topic boards, each with 8 symbol locations, and each filled with core vocabulary relating to common themes and topics

ACE Centre – Look2Talk templates
You must go to the section where it says download or order for the templates for this structured system of communication intervention model. This teaching process offers a defined and sequential way for students who were non-speaking to advance to ever-higher levels of language and communication.

Boardmaker Yahoo Group
A very active, community of members of varying levels who create amazing boards and have great discussions. The main purpose of list is to offer support and ideas to parents, teachers, and SLPs that use it with their children or students.

.pdf Format

Speaking of Speech
Speaking of Speech is an interactive forum for speech/language pathologists and teachers. It includes a materials exchange where you will find a section dedicated to Augmentative Communication.

Has a variety of communication boards and visual supports for choice making, activities, schedules, reminders, etc.

NYC Dept. of Ed. – Adapted Books
This site provides many adapted books and materials created with Boardmaker, Writing with Symbols, and PowerPoint software. They have been converted to Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format as well. Any links that have “CC” are for “Core Communication” boards in the area listed.

Tinsnips Make & Take
This site has Yes/No boards, response cards, conversation boards and much more.

Children with Special Needs
The downloadable .pdf files provide some of the basic/beginners pictures to help get you started implementing the picture exchange communication system.

Gail Vantatenhove's Pixon Project Boards
FREE downloadable Communication Boards based on Unity (PRC) and Core vocabulary.

Wigit Software Activity Packs
There are a few boards that are listed for basic vocabulary, feelings and emotions. Look for the Adobe .pdf icon for the free stuff or consider purchasing their software for access to all of their other great free activities.

Cue Cards in Community Languages
Cue Cards is a new resource developed by Eastern Health Transcultural Services to assist health professionals and clients / carers who primarily have English language difficulties, or problems communicating with each other.

Other Formats and Create Your Own

SEN Teacher
This site includes a free resource for creating low-tech communication board, as well as a list of other downloadable aided language displays.

Black and white picture cards are provided to help you make your own schedules, story strips and talking back cards. They can be printed as full-size coloring pages, in two-inch sizes with or without words, and in one-inch sizes with or without words. Printed and cut out, these can be used singly or grouped together.
Visuals can be presented in several formats, depending on your child's level of understanding. When creating your communication display or board, you can select from photographs, Mayer-Johnson icons or import your own images. The boards can be saved as a .pdf or printed immediately.

Mrs. Riley's Pagebuilder
the Pagebuilder application that helps you make, share, and print your own picture cards. It’s drag and drop easy and you can get started right away by clicking the giant green button at the top of the page.

Picto-selector is a Windows application written for easy selection and printing of Pictos. The Pictos come from the website, and ARASAAC and have a Dutch, English, French and Spanish translation. The application itself also supports those languages.

Eye-gaze Systems

Cogain Eye-gaze communication board
Gaze Communication Board or Eye Communication Frame is a cheap, fast, easy-to-use eye communication method. There are several options that can be bought from stores that sell communication aids and assistive technology, such as the "E-tran (eye transfer) frame." This site has a thorough description of how to recreate this eye-gaze system and includes pictures and diagrams.

CALL Centre Handout: Eye Pointing and Using an Etran Frame

Color-coding Systems

Using color-coding for the background of icons or line drawings (e.g., Mayer Johnson picture communication symbols) allows the user and facilitator to locate symbols more easily. If color-coding is organized according to grammatical categories, the user has an added feature to assist in learning how to sequence symbols, and in turn, to support the development of sentence-building or syntax skills

Fitzgerald Key (seen on several high-tech communication devices, apps on tablets and autism community) was originally designed to teach deaf children to sequence sentences according to traditional spoken English word order.

Word categories are colored to correspond with the Fitzgerald Key (Fitzgerald, 1954) format - People = yellow; Verbs = green; Little Words = pink; Words That Tell About = blue; Things and Foods = orange; and Places = purple. Word morphology buttons are colored to match the part of speech with which they are typically associated. For example, the possessive noun command button is colored yellow, as it is used with people. The Noun Plural command button is orange, as it is typically used with things.

Goosens’, Craine and Elders Color-coding System is also used by many well-known AAC professionals, additional information can be found at

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