Here are some useful A.T./I.T. resources to support newly arrived Ukrainian refugees.
Speech and Text Translation Apps
Ukrainian Communication Resources for Children, People who are Nonverbal, or who have Non-Standard Speech
Microsoft’s Translator app comes in both an iOS and Android version, and available for free. It covers translations in differing formats, including speech, text, and images. For most languages, it is possible to have text translated, but in some languages, it is also possible to have text spoken aloud or to have speech translated. See Microsoft’s website on language translations available for more information on this.
On the home screen is the option to choose the type of translation, access to history (a record of phrases used previous) as well as a handy phrase book.
The types of translation covered include using the phone’s microphone for live communication with one or more people, a option to join a conversation using a code, extracting text from an image as well as typing in words and phrases for translation.
When text is translated into Ukrainian, there is the option to have it displayed in both the Latin alphabet and the Cyrillic alphabet.
For those with visual impairments, a feature to enlarge the translation to full screen landscape mode, in high contrast (white on a green background) is available.
The phrase book in particular provides handy utterances in a variety of categories:
The Join Conversation mode is particularly suitable for large gatherings, where the host or presenter can share a code that others can use to get a translation of speech on their own devices.
Available as both an iOS and Android app, Google Translate can translate text, speech, photos and handwriting between 108 different languages. Again, the Ukrainian language dictionary can be downloaded for use offline.
Phrases can be entered by either typing or using the microphone to input through speech, and the phrase can be translated into text and speech output. There is the option to review back over the history of usage, as well as the ability to save certain phrases.
Conversation mode splits the screen in half so that words or phrases spoken in both languages are displayed on screen. The “auto” option will listen for both languages.
There is also the ability to use the camera to translate text in the environment, documents, even handwriting, simply by pointing the camera in the direction of the text. It is also possible to use the camera to take a photo with a higher quality image of text, and then import that into the app for translation.
Ukrainian Communication Resources for Children, People who are Nonverbal, or who have Non-Standard Speech.
Tobii Dynavox have created some resources to assist those who are nonverbal to communicate through a language barrier. These resources include general communication boards that can be used to communicate in Ukrainian and 11 other languages, and includes key vocabulary around questions, daily essentials, feelings, and requesting medical intervention.
- General Communication Board – Ukrainian to Czech
- General Communication Board – Ukrainian to English
- General Communication Board – Ukrainian to Estonian
- General Communication Board – Ukrainian to German
- General Communication Board – Ukrainian to Hungarian
- General Communication Board – Ukrainian to Latvian
- General Communication Board – Ukrainian to Moldovian
- General Communication Board – Ukrainian to Polish
- General Communication Board – Ukrainian to Romainian
- General Communication Board – Ukrainian to Slovak
- General Communication Board – Ukrainian to Swedish
They also have created a medical communication board, with Ukrainian and English languages. This includes words and phrases around medical care and procedures, expressing feelings and includes a number scale for rating pain, symptoms etc.
Widgit have worked with partners and volunteers across Europe to produce a set of free materials to support refugees. These resources are included in a free pack which will help bridge the language barrier between Ukrainian refugees and their hosts. The pack is available in both Ukrainian and Russian, alongside the language of the host nation.
Smartbox AT have also produced a collection of communication charts, converting Ukrainian to English and Polish. These boards contain a core word, colour coded chart (pictured below) as well as a variety of words and phrases around medical care, body parts and an alphabet chart.
Although produced as an education resource, Twinkl.ie have created some vocabulary sheets that may be of use in certain situations, outside of medical communication. For example, they have a range of sheets on clothes, food, weather etc vocabulary on the Ukrainian section of the Twinkl.ie website. The majority of these are available free of charge when you sign up to the website.
The Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) has some resources on English as an Additional Language (EAL) as well as a welcome letter translated into Ukrainian for students starting in schools, which will help with informing parents of school start/finishing times, staff contacts etc.
As mentioned above, the Twinkl.ie website has resources on Ukrainian vocabulary, but in addition they also have a huge range of resources on, for example:
- Ukrainian Taster Pack, which may help with welcoming new students to the classroom
- Communication fans/Keyrings , to assist with communication in the classroom
- A school picture dictionary with common items fund in the classroom setting
- Numeracy Word Mat, with translation of key maths vocabulary in both English and Ukrainian
They also have some general supports around English as an Additional language.
All the above mentioned are available with a free log in to their website; additional resources are available with a paid membership.
Another good way of keeping up to date with educational information and resources is to the Padlet created by Eadaoin Kelly which includes
- Department of Education/NEPS updates
- Webinars for school staff,
- English as an Additional Language resources
- Diversity and Inclusion resources
among a wide range of other links.
Barnardos have published a useful document on how to talk to children about war.
Twinkl.ie have some resources, that can be filter by age range, to help students, such as
- social stories about living in a new country.
- Mindfulness activities
- Strategy prompt cards to reduce anxiety
- Grief Journal
The Polish website, Potrzeba Fantazji, has a series of downloadable, child friendly fantasy stories, available in multiple languages, using animals to help explain to children about war, fleeing to another country, and meeting host families.