Updated December 2014
SEN Teacher Symbol Search uses the ARASAAC Creative Commons symbol library to describe and cross reference over a million concepts and phrases against a library of around 10,000 communication symbols. Our focus is on concept mapping, rather than simple word association.
The search tool is being developed as an add-on for SEN Teacher printables, particularly those related to augmentative and alternative communication. We've localised most of the symbols to English language - in a few cases British English. This work is on-going and a few of the original Spanish symbols remain - ID numbers still parallel the ARASAAC index.
Modified symbols are published under the original Creative Commons License - which allows free use and redistribution by schools and other users for non-commercial purposes. To sell printed resources or software which includes these symbols you will need to contact ARASAAC.
In addition to simple comparison, this search uses several approaches to find best symbol from the available pool of symbols.
- The search tool also looks for synonyms, antonyms related concepts and metaphors....
eg a search for 'disconsolate' will pull up the expected symbols for sad - but also symbols literally conveying 'cut up', 'unbalanced', 'blue', 'extinguished' etc
- Multiple word searches are examined as a whole phrase and single words....
eg a search for 'music therapy' first finds a single symbol conveying that concept, then a range of symbols related to music and therapies.
- The sound and stem of keywords used in search are also analysed.....
eg even a nonsense search for 'adtrk gert' will find similar sounding concepts like 'great', 'grate', 'attract', 'guard' etc.
These methods of search throw up more than a few red herrings and arcane relationships, but also help with more creative use of language and the representation of complex concepts as single symbols.