Bullimbal School

Independence Achievement Excellence

Telephone02 6762 8003


Multimodal communication

Bullimbal School uses comprehensive communication systems, including, Pragmatically Organised Dynamic Displays (PODD) and Proloquo2Go, for aided language input and output in all classrooms.*

We recognise that many students attending Bullimbal School have complex communication needs.  This means that their speech isn’t sufficient to meet their daily needs.  We also recognise that many students at our school need to build their understanding of language (receptive language) and their knowledge of how language works.

Aided language stimulation is where we use a child’s AAC system to talk to them. This is an evidence based technique that is considered pivotal in teaching and learning AAC.  We know that it helps to develop an individual’s receptive language as well as teaching them how to use their AAC system to communicate themselves.  We also recognise that some students may struggle to understand speech alone. By using symbols when WE talk, we help them to understand what we are saying as well teaching them language for the future.

Pragmatically Organised Dynamic Displays (PODD) is a way of organising whole word and symbol vocabulary in a communication book or speech generating device to provide immersion and modelling for learning. 

The aim of a PODD is to provide vocabulary: 

  • for continuous communication all the time 
  • for a range of messages 
  • across a range of topics 
  • in multiple environments. 

Core vocabulary is an evidence based system for organizing, teaching and using vocabulary in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Systems.**  Using a core vocabulary layout in AAC acknowledges that there are a relatively small number of words that make up a high percentage of what we say every day.  These are words like “up, in, I, you, go”.  Focusing on

these words gives students access to vocabulary that they can use across multiple situations throughout the day.  Many core words are included in all PODD systems and the more complex PODD systems are core vocabulary based.

Proloquo2Go contains core vocabulary based page sets which can be used for communication – both for us to talk to the students and for the students to talk to us.  The school uses the Proloquo2Go Intermediate Core vocabulary because it provides a good platform for using symbols to talk to students – which in turn helps to develop both their receptive and expressive language. 


* Other AAC systems are also supported and used when recommended for individual students by a speech pathologist. ** Beukelman, D., McGinnis, J., & Morrow, D. (1991). Vocabulary selection in augmentative and alternative communication. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 7, 171-185.