How To Use Symbol-It

Real-Time Speech To Symbol Translation - And It's Easy!

Anyone with an i-Phone or i-Pad can use Symbol-It to connect with and help a Symbol Speaker in real-time.

Check out the tour below

This tour is using the iPad device. If you are using an iPhone, or a different iPad model, you may notice some slight differences in appearance.

This white (or black in dark mode) area is called the “Symbol Display Box”. This is where symbols will appear as you use the Symbol-It app.

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The new “Button Row” lets you easily control and navigate Symbol-It with one finger

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When you press the microphone icon, your words are translated and displayed in the Symbol Display Box.

To stop, you simply press the button again. If you do not press it again, it will automatically stop after 59 seconds of symbolling. 

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Take a photo and create your own personalized symbols. You can even edit the symbol later.

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Easily clear your display box and start over.

However,  it is not necessary to press this icon to do so. The symbol display box will also clear if you  simply press the microphone and begin recording a new message.

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As your words are being translated into symbols, the text translation will appear here. Simply select the icon to view the text.

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To open the Symbol-It menu and customize your Symbol-It experience, just click here.

To learn more about customization and personalization, check out our tutorials on YouTube. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

AAC, Symbol-It & The Classroom

For example, if the child has LAMP on an Accent but the classroom teacher has a Boardmaker Core Board on the wall, Boardmaker symbols on the schedule, and a Core Board at the playground with Boardmaker, this could still benefit the child.

Symbols should be considered a dialect of visual language, not a language in and of themselves. The symbols represent the spoken language, and for Symbol-It, that spoken language is currently English. When the visual symbol representation is viewed as just that, a representation, then the different symbol systems are dialects of the spoken language rather than their own language. With that perspective, then you can use a variety of dialects (PCS by Boardmaker, Symbol Stix, Smarty Symbols, etc.) to represent language. This provides the teacher and therapist with the freedom to choose the dialect that they use from the front of the classroom as their "public symbol system". This can be the symbol system that the teacher or therapist is most fluent in, as they are representing their dialect. However, when the teacher or therapist comes in along side the student, then she/he should speak in the student's dialect or personal SGD.

This theoretical alignment will allow you and your teacher to use a variety of resources, all with the idea that you are supporting the overall development of language. One symbol system will provide additional visual information to support the development of the meaning and use of that vocabulary.

No. It is a theory of presumed incompetence that suggests that our symbol speakers are incapable of developing language, or that they are incapable of hearing/seeing multiple dialects to support their development of language.

In thinking about independent versus dependent communication, PODD is a dependent mode of communication. It requires the communication partner to advance through the pages and locate the desired vocabulary. It supports the development of scanning, but the communication will always be limited by the availability of the communication partner. Answer the question about independent communication and if there is a mode of access that will let the student independently progress through developmental stages. In regards to modeling, is the communication partner using the PODD notebook to model and immerse the symbol speaker in the symbol system? If not, then how is the student developing language?
Immersion is the key to verbal language development, so the communication partners need to speak in symbols, throughout the day, throughout contexts and activities, and throughout environments. The reason we are augmenting is in order to provide the symbol speaker with an accessible symbol system, so that they can progress through the language developmental milestones.

Using the App

AAC is Augmentative and Alternative Communication. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “An AAC system is defined as an integrated set of components, including symbols, aids, strategies, and techniques used by individuals to enhance communication. The system serves to supplement any gestural, spoken and/or written communication abilities." (ASHA, 1991,p.10)

A symbol speaker is any individual who is dependent upon an AAC symbol system to communicate in place of verbal speech. 

Symbol-It should be used by everyone and anyone who desires deeper, complexer, and more dynamic communication with a symbol speaker.

Symbol-It currently translates in SymbolStix, LAMP Words For Life & Unity, and Smarty Symbols.


Symbol Description:
SymbolStix is an evidence-based symbol communication system that provides the most complete and current symbol set available to support communication and comprehension. SymbolStix symbols are the visual language in communication systems including, but not limited to, Symbol-It™, Proloquo2Go, PRC-Satillo speech-generating devices, Tobii Dynavox devices, and more. SymbolStix enables you to efficiently deliver clear, consistent communication using multicultural, dynamic, contemporary symbols.
Copyright Information:
Symbols used are SymbolStix. Copyright © 2020 SymbolStix, LLC. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.


Symbol Description:
Minspeak symbols are used within PRC vocabulary systems, including Unity, LAMP Words for Life, UNIDAD, and CoreScanner. With a small number of icons, a person using a Minspeak system can independently communicate a large vocabulary without having to spell or to learn and navigate through a large set of pictures. Minspeak symbols are available on PRC communication devices and apps including Accent 800/ 1000/ 1400, PRiO, Via Pro, and LAMP Words for Life iOS app. See for more information.
Legal info:
Minspeak symbols and the Unity and UNIDAD language systems are a registered trademark of Semantic Compaction Systems and are used exclusively in PRC-Saltillo speech generating devices and apps. Apps and devices that use Minspeak symbols include Accent 800/ 1000/ 1400, PRiO, Via Pro, and LAMP Words for Life iOS app – these are all registered trademarks of PRC-Saltillo. See for more information.


Symbol Description:
PCS is the industry leader for symbol based learning and communication needs. With over 40,000 culturally diverse symbols for all ages, this versatile symbol set is used worldwide in well-known learning software such as Boardmaker as well as communication systems like Snap Core First and PODD. PCS are known for being simple, versatile, and easy to learn and implement. The growing library is updated every month and it is available in 40 different languages.
For more information on PCS visit the GoBoardmaker website.
Legal info:
PCS is a trademark of Tobii Dynavox LLC. All rights reserved. Used with permission.


Symbol Description: Smarty Symbols™ is a robust library of graphic representations of language used for visual support, communication, and language support. Its Symbol of Choice library provides an opportunity for additional customization of representations for a wide variety of children and adults. Smarty Symbol’s contemporary graphic style and up-to-date vocabulary provide maximum opportunity for efficient and flexible communication. Smarty Symbols is used in several apps including Custom Boards, Speak for Yourself, Speak with Me, Expressive, etc
Legal info:
Symbol-It includes licensed images from the Smarty Symbols library. All rights reserved to Smarty Symbols, LLC.

Technical Support & Troubleshooting

Be sure and check out the “Troubleshooting” area within the Symbol-It App Menu for tips, fixes and technical assistance.

You can find how to activate "dark mode" on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch here: Apple Support


A WiFi only device may be used in WiFi mode when connected to a hot spot.
To set up a personal hotspot on your iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular), go to Settings > Personal Hotspot and toggle it on (if you don't see Personal Hotspot in Settings, tap Cellular > Personal Hotspot). Make note of the Wi-Fi password. Open the Wi-Fi menu on the device you need to connect to the internet.


Because Symbol-It uses Siri for the speech translation, be sure your Siri permissions are activated in both your iOS device settings and the Symbol-It app settings. 

This has been known to happen for at least two reasons.  One reason is that the app can glitch when the WiFi connection changes from one server or network to another, and another reason is that Siri encounters a processing error. 
Turning Airplane mode on and off will reset the WiFi connection and the app should begin translating again. If this does not work, then activate Airplane mode and then turn off the device. Turning it back on and deactivating Airplane mode should resolve the glitch.

Get Symbol-It

Using augmentative communication (AAC) has never been easier.
Get started using real-time translation of speech to symbol and connect with the symbol speaker in your life in
their symbols. #symbolspeak

We heard you! We made Symbol-It even better by making it more accessible to all.
One purchase & it's yours, including all the pro features.

*If you have a current subscription to Symbol-It or Symbol-It Pro, you already own Symbol-It! Please contact us if you have any questions at

Symbol-It Now Includes All Features of Symbol-It Pro!

The Communication Partner App! Perfect for families, educators, therapists & educators.
$ 99
Now Just A One Time Payment & It's You
  • Speech to Symbol Translation
  • Includes leading Symbol Systems
  • Easily Change Symbol Systems
  • Personalize Symbols
  • Customize Symbols
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