Aphasia organizations and speech therapy practices put out helpful communication materials for people with aphasia to use throughout their day. From making it easier to order at restaurants easier to navigating medical appointments, these tips, tricks, and tools will help you communicate what you need to say.


We are highlighting some of these great tips, tricks, and tools.

Aphasia Institute ParticiPics

Take a look at this resource from Aphasia Institute.

What Aphasia Institute Says

We asked Aphasia Institute about their helpful resource.

What was the inspiration for this resource?


ParticiPics is a free, virtual, searchable database of pictographic images designed to facilitate life’s conversations. Pictographs are images that can support you in communicating your thoughts and are the product of decades of research and experience in supporting conversation with people with aphasia. Many of the pictographs depict abstract ideas on relevant topics – e.g., questions such as ‘What about the future?’


By organizing pictographs with keywords, you can create resources to support conversations using a method such as Supported Conversation for Adults with Aphasia (SCA)(TM).

Pictographic resources are pictographs and keywords grouped in a meaningful and usable way. These resources are valuable tools for supporting conversation, as they provide a shared visual reference for all parties and can be used to enrich the conversation.


Our original pictographs were only available as hard-copy booklets. ParticiPics was created in response to many requests for an easy way to access and search for individual images. And so, ParticiPics was born – in line with our mission to develop and share resources, training, and tools to make life’s conversations more accessible.

How can people with aphasia best use this resource as a communication aid?


How can conversation partners and healthcare providers best use ParticiPics as a communication aid to support people with aphasia? ParticiPics is a tool that can be used collaboratively with people with aphasia.


To access ParticiPics:


1. Create a Community Hub account.

2. Search ParticiPics + download pictographs.

3. Organize pictographs with keywords to create your own resources.

4. Use your own authoring program (e.g., PowerPoint / Illustrator) to assemble your resource.


You can assemble pictographs to prepare for specific conversations or to make other written information more accessible, like informed consent forms, event flyers, presentations, or signage. Use Supported Conversation for Adults with Aphasia (SCA)(TM) alongside your pictographic resource to help navigate your conversation. Pictographs don’t replace talking but support it with other techniques like gesturing with body language, writing keywords, or drawing.


If you’re a family/friend of a person with aphasia, see this practical video and pamphlet for basic tips related to supporting conversation.


If you’re a healthcare provider, take this free eLearning module to learn techniques to decrease language barriers and improve access to healthcare for people with aphasia.

Here are just a few ways ParticiPics can help you and your communication partner:


  • Introduce a topic
  • Indicate a choice
  • Refer back to a previous comment
  • Provide logistic instructions, including dates, times, and locations
  • Share complex thoughts and emotions
  • Create entire visual conversations using our pictographs and your own images and words

Anything you’d like people to know about your organization?


The Aphasia Institute is a Canadian not-for-profit community-based center of excellence for people with aphasia and those who support them in health care and the community.


Through direct service, research, education, and training – we create resources, tools, programs, and practices that help people with aphasia learn how to communicate in new ways and begin to navigate their own lives again. If you want to make your healthcare setting more communicatively accessible, contact us to learn more.


Visit their website for access to many other resources and tools – many of which are free:


For people with aphasia and families
For health care providers

To increase awareness of aphasia in your community, share this powerful awareness video (2 min.) created with people with aphasia.