New communication boards at local parks inclusive for all Liverpool residents

Picture: Liverpool Council
Picture: Liverpool Council

New communication boards that support inclusive play have been installed at parks in Liverpool.

The boards at the Carnes Hill Community Precinct and Casula Parklands will help people with disability, language barriers and vision impairment.

Liverpool mayor Wendy Waller said the communication boards enhanced the social experience and interaction between people of all backgrounds and abilities.

"Through simple pictorials that represent words and activities as well as braille, anyone with a disability or anyone facing language barriers or limited expressive abilities can use the communication board to show what they would like to do and express how they feel," Cr Waller said.

Liverpool has a higher number of people who speak a language other than English at home and report difficulty speaking English, compared to the rest of greater Sydney.

"These boards can assist in opening the lines of communication between people visiting these parks and can help spark conversation, interaction and social opportunities," Cr Waller said.

"Council is committed to promoting inclusion through our Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

"Every family wants the best for their children and these resources can help them achieve it."

Local resident Maree Stewart said the communication board would help her four-year-old son Marcus, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, play with more confidence.

"Playing with other kids has been so critical in building communication skills for Marcus," she said.

"He often wants to communicate but doesn't have the right words.

"Having non-verbal communication tools available in a public playground gives Marcus more options to interact with other kids.

"Many kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder of all levels would be familiar with how to use communication boards and similar tools.

"It gives peace of mind to parents to know that their child can ask for help if they need to."

Council installed its first communication board at Collimore Park in Liverpool last year and is looking to install others across the local government area.

The communication board concept was developed in collaboration with the Autism Advisory and Support Service and funded by the Federal Government's Stronger Communities program.