Symbols are a vital part of daily communication. Every day, 10 billion emojis are sent across the globe, and symbols are a major part of our daily commutes on highways and across streets. For some people, however, using symbols is a requirement for communication. Approximately 3.5 million people in the United States alone rely on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems as their primary form of communication. AAC are systems and tools that replace natural speech for people with a variety of disabilities and communication needs.
One common form of AAC system are Communication Boards, which are software or books used to replace simple sentences and ask questions for people with an inability to do so verbally. However, modern communication boards face all sorts of design issues. Symbols are often catered towards children, and are simply drawn and at times do not reflect diversity. Glyph is a project aimed at designing an open source Communication Board for young adults with alternative communication needs, and an attempt at standardizing Communication Board symbols for young adults. The goal of Glyph is to begin making Communication Boards more accessible and visible to both users and designers.