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Communication board in Springfield allows everyone to enjoy the park

Posted at 7:40 PM, Nov 15, 2023

SPRINGFIELD, Neb. (KMTV) — About six months ago at Buffalo Park in Springfield, a communications board was installed on the grounds. The idea came from the president of the city council who also happens to be a special needs teacher.

“I happened to see one of these from a different state,” said Kacie Murtha. “That’s kinda where I got the idea and started doing some more research on it.”

The board features a wide variety of pictures depicting moods and visualizing thoughts. It’s meant for those with autism, other conditions that affect speech, and those with language barriers to help them communicate effectively.

It can be used for simple greetings, telling others what they want to do, or where they want to go.

“The core words are actually on the board but you can customize certain ones to relate to where you’re going to put it,” said Murtha.

The board also has a portion for sign language.

The concept was something the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce was quick to get behind, they were able to provide grant funding which provided a portion of the money used to purchase the Communication Boards.

“You can have fun, and not have to worry about an expensive electronic device and keeping track of that,” said Celeste Pille Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce. “You can just have that here.”

Murtha said the board has garnered attention from parkgoers, and it’s exactly what she and Pille want to see,

“We’re trying to include everybody,” she said. “Also educate everybody on different ways people communicate so everyone’s in the know.”

A second communication board can be found at City Park in Springfield. Murtha hopes others are inspired to add a communication board to their parks.

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