Use of AR to activate Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) symbols, such as Tawasol


Seeing that people with communication disabilities rely heavily on the use of AAC symbols to communicate, there is a critical need for the development of technology to provide sign AAC interpretation.

As such, a solution is required to provide people with communication disabilities access to static and rich multimedia content (e.g. video, audio announcements, text, graphics, signage) through Augmented Reality.

The solution will enable people with communication disabilities to access key information and partake in different activities in a more independent and equitable fashion.

Not Initiated

Target Users

Persons with Communication Disabilities

User Journey

MaryamAhmed is 18 years old. He is unable to communicate through speech, and relies on reading and activating AAC symbols to communicate. Ahmed is looking to use his smartphone or wearable to access information on static and digital signage in his everyday life.


Ahmed is looking at a digital sign, with information written in Arabic. He cannot read the text.


Ahmed uses the camera on his smartphone to activate an Augmented Reality AAC interpretation app to access the information found on the sign.


Once open, the app will identify and interpret the content of the signage and convert it to AAC symbols.


The interpreted content will be presented to Maryam through his smartphone or wearable device.

Potential Service Features

  • NFC Enabled Identification
  • QR Code Scanner
  • Biometric Identification
  • Saved Favorite Points Of Interest
  • Automated Day Planner
  • Personalized Notifications
  • Predictive Insights
  • Issue Resolution

Touch Points

Issue Statement

As a person with cognitive and communication disabilities, Ahmed is unable to read information found in static or text and rich multimedia-based mediums (e.g. audio, video, graphics, etc.) during his everyday life.

The inability to access crucial city information including public transportation schedules, navigation, events, points of interests, and emergency notifications can limit his ability to live independently and at times pose a safety hazard.

Expected Key Benefits

Text / Graphics to AAC symbols

Translate key information that is being delivered to mass audiences through text and video into AAC symbols, such as Tawasol.

Contextual Information Delivery

Based on the user’s live location, relevant contextual information (e.g. emergency notifications, alternative routes, etc.) can be pushed to the user in AAC.

Audience Expansion

Businesses and public sector organizations can use the solution to broadcast contextualized information in AAC symbols, thereby targeting a niche customer base that is not traditionally accessed through conventional advertising mediums.

Implementation Analysis

Implementation Timeline

Timeline Medium




Technology Commercial Viability

Timeline Short

Available Now

Viable in Short Term

Viable in Long Term

Investment Requirements

Timeline High




Key Implementation Considerations


User identification and sign-on


Collection and synchronization of real-time data from multiple sources (e.g. transportation schedules, emergency response routes, etc.)


Identification and Instant / Real-time sign language translation of relevant data in alternative formats (e.g. text, audio, etc.)


Data collection policies


Intuitive Graphical User Interface