Cornwall, Ontario – The City of Cornwall has added a new feature with big impact to the Benson Centre Park. In an effort to increase inclusive play, the City of Cornwall has installed its first communication board at the newly created park.
A communication board is a device that displays a common set of photos, symbols, or illustrations to help people with limited language skills express themselves. The user can gesture, point, or blink at images to communicate with others.
“Adding elements in our parks that increase inclusive play and socialization skills is very important,” said Jamie Fawthrop, General Manager of Planning, Development and Recreation. “This board can be used by people of all ages and abilities”.
The City of Cornwall consulted a speech language pathologist from CHEO on the selection of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) symbols used on the new communication board. The board features images of depicting emotions, feelings, actions, and park equipment to assist and encourage language development and communication.
“The installation of the communication board at the Benson Centre demonstrates Council’s commitment to inclusivity,” said Mayor Justin Towndale. “We are eager to incorporate more inclusive elements into other neighbourhood parks across the City.
The communication board at the Benson Centre is not the only park project to focus on inclusivity. The City of Cornwall is currently partnering with Rachel’s Kids on the recent announcement of an inclusive park at St. Therese Park.