Verbal communication can be difficult for many people, including people with limited language skills and children. Recently installed boards at Womble, Jones, and Veterans parks are helping make communication easier for park visitors while boosting inclusive play at these popular playgrounds.
The communication boards, installed by Holly Springs Parks & Recreation after local resident Charmain James suggested them, include illustrations, symbols, numbers, and letters that users can point or gesture to, helping them communicate with others.
"If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how a non-speaker or child with limited speech must feel when they see a communication board full of core words and Picture Communication Symbols along with the alphabet and numbers right there on the playground," James said. "Imagine how many words they have at their disposal! 'Happy' is one way to describe it!"
James noted that, through play, children form friendships, learn to compromise and collaborate with one another, and more.
"This can only be put in practice if they have a voice on the playgrounds," James said. "That's why having these communication boards are important."
Holly Springs Parks & Recreation Marketing & Special Events Coordinator Rachel Porter said the boards help create a more inclusive environment. In the future, the Town may install boards at other facilities as one way to work toward fulfilling the strategic plan goal of growing the town's offering of inclusive amenities.