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One of Pula's new communication boards, Source: City of Pula

Pula helps nonverbal children and adults to communicate more easily

Pula helps nonverbal children and adults to communicate more easily

The Croatian city has installed boards for augmentative communication in several public areas

Everyday activities can seem daunting and frustrating to children and adults who cannot rely on speech to communicate their thoughts and emotions. For example, visiting a doctor – an experience that is already nerve-wracking – can cause even greater stress and anxiety when one cannot effectively convey what they are thinking.

Acknowledging that there are numerous people who are on the autism spectrum, have slow speech development, Down Syndrome, or brain trauma, the Croatian City of Pula has set up boards for augmentative communication.

“City of Pula speaks in pictures”

Last week, the Croatian municipality revealed that it has collaborated with the Veruda Pula Day Centre for Rehabilitation to launch a new and ambitious project: “City of Pula speaks in pictures”. Under this project, the two bodies have installed several boards featuring pictures that will facilitate communication for nonverbal children, adults, and even tourists.

In a press release, the municipality revealed that it has already set up several communication boards throughout the city. More specifically, it has installed them in the children’s playground in Tito Park, the city beaches Ferijalni, Hidrobaza, and Ambrela, the public institution DV Mali Svijet, the arena, and the children’s playground in Šijanska šuma and Valkana.

Aside from setting up boards, the City of Pula will also provide paediatric and dental clinics in the municipality with small booklets featuring pictures. Explaining the need for this action, Master of Educational Rehabilitation Marija Sertić Nađ shared that the booklets will alleviate the anxiety surrounding medical examinations. Moreover, they will allow children to express their thoughts and share their conditions.

Through “City of Pula speaks in pictures”, the municipality not only facilitates communication for those who have speech difficulties but also promotes acceptance and inclusion. Expanding on this, Pula’s residents will now gain a better understanding of the challenges their fellow citizens face and how they can support them.

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