The work on this research project is being carried out by The Speech Therapy Department in the Hamad Medical Corporation (the main provider of secondary and tertiary healthcare in Qatar and one of the leading hospital providers in the Middle East) and the Mada Center offering a single point of co-ordination for all activities related to digital and eInclusion in Qatar along with the Accessibility Team within the Web and Internet Science Group at the University of Southampton.
It has been funded thanks to a NPRP award [NPRP 6 – 1046 – 2 – 427] from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of The Qatar Foundation) and thanks must also go to all those participants in Doha and to ARASAAC for allowing their symbols to be used in this project.
The symbols are provided with their text equivalents in Modern Standard Arabic and where appropriate colloquial Qatari Arabic plus their English translation. The initial aim was to provide a set of symbols that could complement other symbols already in use to support:
- Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) users
- Those who may have low levels of literacy, learning disabilities or specific learning difficulties, where symbols can aid reading and writing skills.
- Those individuals who have social interaction difficulties where symbols can act as prompts.
- Arabic as a second language and environments that require signs with words and explanatory graphics
Symbols may also work in a similar way for those who acquire speech and language difficulties due to strokes and brain injury. Symbols as indicators have value in supporting the understanding of Arabic for those with little knowledge of the language and symbols can also be used to assist with way finding or act as health and safety warnings in a way that is obvious to the widest possible audience.
Where it has been felt that there is no need to generate new symbols for certain concepts, links have been provided to the ARASAAC symbol set available thanks to collaboration with Centro Aragonés de Recursos para la Educación Inclusiva (CAREI) and are offered under a CC (BY-NC-SA) Creative Commons licence.
The Tawasol Symbols are free to use or distribute and can be incorporated and integrated into both free and commercial products. You may charge for your software, training or support but cannot make an additional charge for the use of the Tawasol library, either within your pricing or as an additional download. We simply ask that you note the source of the symbols and the license under which they are provided. Tawasol symbols are available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 licence
You can follow the progress of the research and symbol development via our blog.