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A logo of project Global Symbols

Global Symbols has been set up to offer an online space for those developing and using open pictographs for individuals with speech, language and literacy difficulties to share their symbol sets with others.

The symbol sets and other resources collected on this site have creative commons licences and are intended for:

  • all Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) users, their families and carers as well as professionals in the field interested in using symbols.
  • languages that do not have localised symbols to support speech, language and literacy in health care, education and social communication situations.
  • supporting low levels of literacy, learning disabilities or specific learning difficulties, where symbols can aid reading and writing skills.
  • helping with social interaction difficulties where symbols can act as prompts.

Symbols may also work in a similar way for those who acquire speech and language difficulties due to strokes and brain injury.

If you want to create your own symbol set and share it with others please register on the Global Symbols site to upload the symbols.


  • University of Southampton
  • David Banes

Principal Investigators

  • E.A. Draffan

Other Investigators

  • Russell Newman
  • Chaohai Ding

Funded by

A logo of the partner organisation UNICEF

The Innovation Fund allows UNICEF to quickly assess, fund and grow open-source solutions that can improve children’s lives. Financial and technological support is available for companies that are using technology in innovative ways to improve the world.