ABCs 4 SLPs: B is for Boardmaker

ABCs 4 SLPs: B is for Boardmaker image
If you have not heard of Boardmaker, then I am not sure if you are a speech-language pathologist... Boardmaker is one of the must-haves for any speech-language pathologist who needs to make visual schedules, AAC communication boards, visuals, social stories, speech and language activities, animated speech and language games or books, and more! Boardmaker uses Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) to create consistency across products and thousands of images. If you have heard the word "Boardmaker" and would like to learn more about the Boardmaker software, continue reading!

PCS symbols

Mayer-Johnson is the company that has created and sells the Boardmaker software. You can purchase it for the Mac or PC. There are many different Boardmaker products. The most well-known are their four different types of Boardmaker software, listed below:

  • Boardmaker - the most basic of the Boardmaker software
  • Boardmaker With Speaking Dynamically Pro - contains all of the capability of the Boardmaker software with the added bonus of natural sounding voices, word prediction, and more
  • Boardmaker Plus! - contains all of the capability of the Boardmaker software with the added bonus of sound, animation, and video capabilities
  • Boardmaker Studio - the most technical of the Boardmaker software with the same capabilities as the original software and Plus software, plus the ability to record and play-back audio recordings, pre-installed templates, and a connect dashboard
Boardmaker Software

If you already own Boardmaker, there is a great website sponsored by Mayer-Johnson called Boardmaker Share. Here, they allow users of Boardmaker software to upload and share activities that they have created available for download for free! They are all shared in Boardmaker files, so you must own Boardmaker to use them. The website is searchable, so you can find what would work best with your clients!

Boardmaker Share logo

Some other software and resources you can purchase related to Boardmaker include:

  • Boardmaker Pre-Made Activities
  • Boardmaker Player
  • PCS Apps (PCS Sign Language Flash Cards, PCS Rhyming Flash Cards, PCS Vocabulary Flash Cards, PCS Articulation Flash Cards, PCS Language Flash Cards, PCS Bingo, PCS Memory, and PCS Word Scramble) (available for iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad)
PCS Language Flash Cards app

PCS symbols are used on many DynaVox/Mayer-Johnson augmentative and alternative communication devices. This does not mean the Boardmaker Software works on these devices, just that the symbols are frequently used.

If you haven't purchased Boardmaker software and are a speech-language pathologist, I highly recommend doing so. The price is steep, starting at $399 up through about $799, but they offer free trials, training, and professional development online to see if it is right for you. If you cannot afford Boardmaker, there are many similar alternatives for symbols and templates (depending on how much interactivity, the amount of symbols, and the type of symbols you are looking for). For more information on this product, visit Mayer-Johnson's website!


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