A Pictorial Communication Framework for Inclusion

Project dates: 2020 - Ongoing

This project is conducted by members of the research group Inclusive technologies for people of diverse cognitive abilities.

Bridging the gap between advances in artificial intelligence and assistive technologies, this project aims to co-design pictorial visual communication applications with people with intellectual disability or autism and community members.

This project researches how computers can understand and facilitate a rich pictorial communication between people and person to machine, thereby supporting inclusion.

Tangible Designs

The image shows 3 people standing in front of the table where there is one iPad next to a canvas with 8 large aluminum buttons, and 3 pictures stuck next to 3 of the buttons

The image shows a beige blanket with 9 sewn in colorful pads made of fabric or yardThe first stage of this project explored tangible designs to explore and encourage the use of images by people who had abandoned AAC (Augmentative Alternative Communication) devices. These designs have demonstrated the importance of embedding communication devices in the environment, rather than solely focusing on tools that serve as a proxy for communicating.

Digital Designs

The second stage of this project will seek to inclusively co-design picture-based digital technologies with people with intellectual disability or autism and members of the community . We welcome expression of interest from individuals to take part in upcoming co-design activities and trials. You can contact us by email, or send your details through our online form

Current Studies


These applications will inform future innovations for everyone, and allow citizens with intellectual disability or autism to access online information, participate in community activities and be included in the workplace. We are always looking for students with skills in HCI and/or machine learning to join the team!

Funding / Grants

  • ARC Future Fellowship (2020 - 2025)

Chief Investigators

Other Team Members

PhD Students

  • Filip Bircanin (completed)
  • Manesha Andradi
  • Alicia Mitchell

Master Students

  • Yuankun Zhu