Communication Boards installed in local parks

The Kearney Dawn Rotary Club, dedicated to enhancing community inclusivity and engagement, is proud to announce the installation of two state-of-the-art communication boards, one adjacent to the splashpad at Yanney Heritage Park and the second at Nina Hammer Memorial Park. This initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to fostering accessible and inclusive environments in our local parks.

The communication boards, designed with inclusivity at the forefront, are developed by a team of expert Speech-Language Pathologists and Vocabulary Design Specialists. These boards feature Talk to Me Technology (TTMT) Core + Fringe Communication strategies, offering easy access to common words used in various settings, aiding individuals with limited language abilities.

The first board, located at the vibrant splashpad at Yanney Heritage Park, is positioned to enhance the experiences of children and families, providing a means for non-verbal or minimally speaking individuals to engage more fully in the community activities. The second board at Nina Hammer Memorial Park, a hub for diverse community gatherings, will serve to bridge communication gaps and foster understanding and connection among park visitors.

“We are excited to bring these communication boards to Kearney’s beloved parks,” said Connie Francis, past President of the Kearney Dawn Rotary Club (2011-12).

“Our goal is to create spaces where everyone, regardless of their communication abilities, can interact and enjoy all that our community has to offer. These boards are a step towards our commitment to that inclusivity” said Francis.

We invite the community to visit Yanney Heritage Park and Nina Hammer Memorial Park to see these communication boards in action and to join us in celebrating this step towards a more inclusive Kearney.

The Kearney Dawn Rotary Club extends its gratitude to other club members who have given generously, and city officials who supported this project. We believe that these communication boards will not only aid in communication but also serve as educational tools, introducing park-goers to augmentative forms of communication.

The funding was provided through a District 5630 grant from The Rotary Foundation.

How are communication boards used?

A communication board is a device that displays photos, symbols, or illustrations to help people with limited language skills express themselves. The user can gesture, point to, or blink at images to communicate with others. Communication boards are one type of augmentative or alternative communication augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device.

What are communication boards for basic needs?

A communication board is a form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) that non-verbal people use to communicate with. The communication board will have symbols or words on that people can use to communicate what they want or need.

How to use a communication board for autism?

Use clear and simple images: Communication boards should contain clear, simple, and easily recognizable images or symbols to ensure that the child can understand and use them effectively. Organize the board: Communication boards should be organized in a logical and meaningful way.

Who needs a communication board?

By offering images as an alternative for spoken language, communication boards are more inclusive of those who might not be able to verbalize their thoughts and can help others understand the needs and thoughts of nonspeaking or minimally speaking individuals.

What are the benefits of communication boards playgrounds?

The benefits of communication boards extend beyond communication itself. Introducing communication play panels can also serve as an educational tool for playground users. Additionally, it enlightens them about various forms of communication.