CHAMPION, Ohio (WKBN) – Trumbull County Educational Service Center students attending programs in Champion have a new way to communicate with their friends outside of the classroom.

A communications board is now located near the playground at Champion Central Elementary School. It was installed at the beginning of the month.

The board has about 60 words, symbols and terms on it.

Third grader Ethan Urmson has already used the board. Urmson is non-verbal and living with autism. The board enables him to communicate with others by pointing to the words or phrases.

“We’re always trying to meet students where they are, and that includes all environments, not just classrooms. So by bringing the board out here, it enables the students to communicate with their peers and with their teachers in a way that wasn’t previously available,” said Christy Pompoco, special education director for Champion Local Schools.

School officials say the symbols on the new board are the same ones used in class and on other communications devices. That way, students already know how to communicate with them.