2021 Widgit Symbol Update
Widgit Symbols need to reflect the world we live in, staying up to date with cultural and technological changes that have taken place since our last update in 2002.
As a result, the 2021 Symbols Review and Development project was undertaken to review, improve or replace symbols that were felt to no longer be 'fit for purpose.'
We have reviewed every single symbol in the set and redrawn them where necessary; ensuring that the symbols are consistent, clear and concise, whilst maintaining a high and modern design standard.
This section describes how the project was set up and administered and covers the reasons behind the changes that were made in 2021 to the Widgit Symbol set.
You can view our previous initial development project here: Widgit Symbol Development Project
Aims of the project
One of the principal features of Widgit Symbols has been their suitability for supporting communication and literacy. To continue to meet this need, it is important the symbol set is current and relevant. Considering this, the aims of the 2021 Widgit Symbols Review and Development Project were to:
- Better reflect the world we live in
- Create a current and relevant symbol set, reflecting cultural and technological progress
- Offer increased learning opportunities, encouraging communication development and increased independence by expanding the symbol set
- Create a more consistent symbol set
- Create clear and concise symbols drawn to a high quality standard.
Project organisation and management
The project was led by Cate Rae, Managing Director at Widgit Software and two designers.
To ensure that the development was useful and 'fit for purpose', we consulted with a wide range of our Widgit Centres (covering Special Schools, Local Authority SEN Support teams, Speech and Language Therapists and Independent Consultants), overseas partners and close colleagues and have incorporated their feedback into the review and redrawing of the symbols.
We are extremely grateful for this feedback and to the individuals and teams who gave their time and expertise.
The project began with initial concepts and drawings being circulated for comment and feedback. Issues such as gender and diversity were of particular importance and it was essential that the community of users had an opportunity to input into the final design and structure of these symbols.
Further opportunities to review both old and new symbols and to compare and comment were provided to Widgit Centres across the country and feedback was collated and used in making final tweaks to the symbols.
The designers then diligently reviewed and checked the symbols for design and technical consistency across the updated set.
The project was co-ordinated by Cate Rae, Managing Director at Widgit Software. Drawings were done by Guillaume Duclaud-Williams, Tom Jelley and Cate Rae.
Organisations / Individuals involved in offering feedback:
Bethany Smith (Sandwell SLT)
Carley McAdam (Special Ed Teacher and City Kicks Author)
Emma Covington (AAC Specialist)
Julie Brown (SEND Team, County Durham)
Julie Tandy (Milestone Academy, Gloucestershire)
Justin Drew (Sandwell SLT)
Karen Ferguson (Linrow Education)
Lisa Phillips (CLASS – East Sussex)
Mandy Walton (Milestone Academy, Gloucestershire)
Rebecca Lynch (Rosehill School, Nottingham)
Steph Reed (Autism Spectrum Teacher)
Susan Cumbers (Corbets Tey School, Havering)