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Special Education
Technology Center

Inclusive Insights & Access Tips
Issue 1 | Oct 2023 

Visually Representing Language

Imagine if real life had captions? What if all classrooms had multiple ways to represent spoken words? Think of all the students who could benefit from language being represented visually: students who struggle with auditory processing, students who are deaf or hard of hearing, students who are emergent readers, and those who are English Language Learners. Building inclusive learning environments can start small. Check out the video Teaching with Closed Captioning and see the tips below on how you can get started with live captions and core boards as Universal Supports in your schools!

Live Captioning in a Snap!

Live captioning can be enabled across various platforms. Try it out on iPads and iPhones! Or, in Google Slides you can have a blank slide deck up, enable captions, and show other screens while captions are on. Finally, try live captioning in ANY language using Microsoft PowerPoint (for web or Microsoft 365 subscription version).

Core Boards as Universal Supports

Core vocabulary boards contain a relatively small set of frequently used words that can be used flexibly and combined to communicate complex ideas. When you provide a whole classroom with access to core vocabulary boards, you are offering universal access to language support, as well as onramps for participation.


King 5 Seattle News featured Everett School District demonstrating their use of big communication boards on the playground. What a wonderful way to promote inclusion, acceptance, and understanding!