Widgit’s ground-breaking work on symbol development began in the 1980s with a teacher in a school for pupils with severe learning difficulties. She wanted to find a way for the children to be able to express something about themselves, to be able to tell their stories. The excitement and pride the children felt was the spur to continue the work and extend it to others with profound and multiple learning difficulties, physical and neurological impairments, speech and language difficulties, moderate learning difficulties and other special needs.
Widgit Symbols are now used in most special schools around the country and in many primary schools. Widgit has a wide range of educational software available which uses symbols, speech output and switches to support communication and learning activities.
The symbols can also be used to support Communication Friendly Environments, for example in the creation of visual timetables, signage around the school and labelling in the classroom.
College lecturer - “Imagine how fantastic it is when a student can look at a piece of symbol-supported text and make sense of what they are seeing!” College staff reinforce symbol recognition by making a huge variety of resources that support all curriculum areas. Importantly, understanding is achieved by using symbols in context in practical activities.
Students at George Hastwell School produce a newspaper every term. Students gather the stories and write the articles using symbol software. This is then put together into newspaper form. Deputy Head teacher: “This newspaper enjoys a wide readership outside the school community. The fact that so many people appreciate it has served further to raise the students’ self-esteem.”
"Using Widgit Point has successfully allowed learners at the James Rennie School with low literacy levels and English as a second language (EAL) to more fully engage with their virtual learning needs. Not only have our pupils felt the advantage from Point but also parents with EAL and other users with learning difficulties wanting to engage with the school."