A visual language

Pictogram is a tried-and-tested and functional visual language developed for people with cognitive difficulties.

Pictogram is used in many different ways: for contact books, shopping lists, calendars, email, ordinary letters and so on, i.e. both for communication and as a memory aid.

The system currently includes about 2000 Pictogram images. A large number of images brings both advantages and disadvantages. Expressive possibilities increase and linguistic nuances become possible. On the other hand it can be hard to gain an overview of a big system, and this is a particular problem for anyone with cognitive difficulties. For this reason, there are not Pictogram images for all words. Pictogram is a "telegram language" – the meaning is clear even if a number of words are missing.

The system has been developed – and continues to be developed – by specialists at the National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools, in collaboration with users, teachers, speech therapists, psychologists and occupational therapists with long experience of alternative means of communication.

This brochure provides information about what Pictogram is all about and why the Pictogram images look the way they do, and it has tips on how they can be used. It also provides answers to copyright issues concerning Pictogram.