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Giving every child a voice with Cboard

A woman and young boy are using a tablet with the cboard application. It depicts a grid of colored tiles and symbols.

An adult supporting a child in using a Cboard


Cboard is an open source, offline-compatible AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) application for children and adults with speech and language impairments, aiding communication with symbols and text-to-speech. The tool can work on tablets, desktops and phones and promotes interaction, helps overcome speech impairments, develops language and steers children towards an education and active social life right from their early years.

A pilot program has been launched in 2019 in Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, where over 70 professionals including pre-school teachers, speech and language therapists, psychologists, occupational therapists and special educators are being trained to identify and support young children with speech, language, and communication related difficulties.

Enablers / Barriers:

Cboard can be used on a variety of devices and it is optimized to operate in an offline environment so to be used more widely when internet connection is not available on that device. In low-tech settings, the pictographic symbol sets can also be exported from Cboard and printed, to support communication work with children using paper-based resources. Initial results from the project have been very promising, with a measurable improvement for children and parents where the application has been implemented.

Localization for TTS (Text To Speech) in Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro required the use of a specialized TTS engine: Alfanum. Alfanum agreed to a private partnership with UNICEF to provide their technology to this project and other solutions.


Implementing organizations:

UNICEF’s Regional office for Europe and Central Asia, UNICEF Innovation Fund Graduate “Cireha”


Global / Piloting in Croatia, Montengro, Serbia




Over 30 languages, 20.000 symbols from the Global symbols database


Web App, PWA (progressive web apps)


TTS (Text-To-Speech), AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication), Autism, Speech and Language, PWA (Progressive Web Apps)