Transparency and Ease of Learning of Symbols Represented by Blissymbols, PCS, and Picsyms

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The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether significant differences existed among normally developing 3-year-old children in transparency and in the learning of symbols from three different graphic symbol systems (i.e. Blissymbols, Picture Communication System [PCS], and Picsyms) frequently displayed on augmentative communication devices. PCS and Picsyms were more transparent and easier to learn than Blissymbols. Regardless of the category (i.e. nouns, verbs, descriptors), fewer Blissymbols were correctly identified than either PCS or Picsyms. In early stages of learning, PCS and Picsyms were easier to learn than Blissymbols. This study did not, however, address the issue of which system was most effective as a long-term communication system for persons with severe communication impairments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalAugmentative and Alternative Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1987


  • Blissymbols
  • PCS
  • Picsyms
  • aided symbols
  • iconicity
  • symbol systems
  • translucency
  • transparency


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