In partnership with the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University and The Mayor’s Office on People with Disabilities, Philadelphia Department of Public Health is pleased to announce the release of a new Communication Board. This Communication Board is part of a broader effort to ensure accessibility in public health programming.

The Board is intended to be used when spoken English may not be effective. It can be utilized in acute and/or crisis situations and should not be used to replace American Sign Language (ASL) and other non-English VRI or interpretation services.

The user can point to pictures of many common objects, important words (such as “yes”, “no”, and “stop”), some important phrases, and a small letter “keyboard”. The Board also has a diagram of a body that allows the user to identify areas of concern or pain that they may be experiencing.

The Board could be included in an emergency kit or go bag for a family where the family has somebody who’s non-speaking or can’t speak intelligibly. It is available in English and Spanish.

The board can be accessed and downloaded here: under Tools and Resources for Personal Emergency Preparedness. For an overview how to use the board, best practices, and tips on how to make it even more accessible, visit

Questions about the board and its use may be directed to the Temple Institute on Disabilities via email at or phone at 800-204-7428.

Communication Board