Health Language Services

What is 'Talking Pictures'?

'Talking Pictures' is a multilingual resource that has been developed to aid basic communication with NESB patients/clients.

  • Pictures help communicate the meaning of the word.

  • Words are written in the LOTE and English.

  • It includes days of the week, numbers, a template of a clock and some commonly used phrases.

It is not designed to take the place of an Interpreter.

'Talking Pictures' has been trialled in selected wards in Arabic, Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese languages. We have produced them in more than 34 languages in demand in SSWAHS. The tool is available for downloading. By downloading you are agreeing to use it in the manner intended. It is protected by copyright, and cannot be reproduced in part without the express permission of the SSWAHS HLS.

It is anticipated that production of 'Talking Pictures' in more languages will occur in the future, however HLS requires funding to do so.

This resource is free to units within SSWAHS. External organisations are charged a small fee to obtain the resource.

Recommendations for use

The tool should be placed in the patient’s locker for easy access. An explanation for using it could be presented by an interpreter on patient admission if required. (The tool could be downloaded via the HLS website in the future).

Health Care Providers need to be aware of its limitations, and that the tool cannot replace an interpreter.

'Talking Pictures’ is unsuitable for use in the following situations:

Patients who may be acutely ill, non-coherent, suffering from dementia or other mental illness NESB patients who cannot read and/or write.

All situations identified in the NSW Health Department Standard Procedure for the Use of the Health Care Interpreter Service-Circular 94/10 January 1994 (see Policy & Procedures), which stipulates situations that Interpreters must be called, e.g. for patient history, assessments, consents, explanation of medications and counselling, etc.

See Example
Go to Talking Pictures

We would love your feedback about using 'Talking Pictures'. It will help us to improve the tool. Please e-mail Elizabeth Comor or telephone 8738 6804.

More languages coming soon!!

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Page last updated: 28 June, 2017
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