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ERIC Number: EJ899368
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1938-727X
Visual Features that Convey Meaning in Graphic Symbols: A Comparison of PCS and Artists' Depictions
Patel, Rupal; Schooley, Katherine; Wilner, Jessica
Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, v4 n1 p62-80 Fall 2007
Research on AAC symbols has focused almost exclusively on iconicity and complexity, and thus has not established whether additional visual features are necessary for conveying meaning in graphic representations. Despite variations in individual depictions of an "apple," we understand the underlying concept due to shared consensus on the set of necessary visual elements. This initial investigation examined 25 concepts depicted in Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) in terms of a diverse set of visual features and principles. Additionally, seven artists drew the same concepts to determine whether patterns emerged across artist groups and within semantically related concepts. While visual profiles of PCS and artists' renditions differed for most concepts, they were identical for some concrete concepts. Additionally, common patterns were noted for semantically related concepts. These findings suggest that a broader set of visual features may be useful for analyzing how meaning is conveyed in existing AAC symbol sets and for developing novel symbols. (Contains 4 tables and 5 figures.)
Assistive Technology Industry Association and SEAT Center. Available from: SEAT Center, Special Education, Illinois State University, Campus Box 5910, Normal, IL 61790. Tel: 309-438-7811; Fax: 309-830-0999; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A