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Bowden Park unveils new communications board encouraging inclusive play for everyone

Posted at 1:15 PM, Sep 22, 2023

BOISE, Idaho — Bowden Park unveiled its new communications board encouraging inclusive play for everyone.

The Augmentative Alternative Communication Board has been installed to help assist those with disabilities to have a more enjoyable experience while using the park. This innovative and inclusive addition is the first of its kind in both Boise and the entire state.

The effort to create and provide the board was spearheaded by Katie Albertson, a Boise School District Speech Language Pathologist. Together with colleague Claire Boyd, the two drew from childhood memories on words they had used to be included in the board.

This board includes graphics and visuals that can help bridge the gap between non-speaking or minimally speaking individuals and their caregivers, teachers, or peers by allowing better communication.

"[The board] incorporated not only picture based for children who are unable to read, they incorporated Braille and Spanish," said Albertson.

The new board can be used in several different ways, whether it be expressing their needs, like needing a break, a glass of water, or to use the restroom. Additionally, the board can be used to ask questions and to facilitate communications with a friend or teacher where in the playground they'd like to go.