The signs and symbols listed below are the result of a 2001 MHCS project which collected signs and symbols, used and/or developed by health service providers nationwide. Some of these resources have already found a place on our website in different categories; other resources, were regarded as suitable for web publishing, are listed below.

The 3-letter coded languages are links to pdf versions of the listed documents. In most cases the language link leads to only the pdf in the selected language. In a few cases the pdf shows all translated versions of the text in one page.

The titles listed are either the full version of the Engish text (the pdfs show you the translations) or a summary of what you'll find in the pdf.

NB: The quality of some pdfs is poor because of the nature of the original paper version provided.

MHCS can't take responsibility for typos and other mistakes in the resources.

We received some important feedback from health care workers when we evaluated the appropriate use of signs and symbols within the NSW health system in 2001. Some key issues to take note are:

  • If they are to be used effectively, the resources must be easily found, reproduced and distributed across the health system.
  • Health staff are responsible for ensuring that the information is received and understood - not just made available.
  • Health care workers should not see the use of communication tools as a substitute for interpreters by health care workers.
  • Communication tools should only be used after a formal language assessment has been done.
  • The tools may not work for all clients. Clients with motor function impairments, cognitive impairments, physical disabilities etc, may be physically unable to use them. Other clients who are unfamiliar with the concept of communication tools or who have low literacy, may not understand their purpose and function.

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