What are objects of reference?
Objects of Reference are objects which have special meanings assigned to them

Who uses objects of reference?
• People with profound and multiple learning disabilities
• People with multi sensory loss
• People with sight impairment
• People with short or long term memory difficulties
• People with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder for whom the spoken word has little meaning.

Why use OORs?
● Objects of reference can be useful for people with communication disabilities who do not respond to other methods of communication such as speech, signs or pictures.
● Objects are concrete and permanent allowing time to process and offer lots of sensory information. They do not rely on processing verbal information or memory.
● They are also easier to interpret than pictures for those with visual perceptual problems.
● For some they can offer a bridge to link symbol understanding.

What are OORs?
● Objects of Reference are objects that are used to communicate a meaning in the same way as words and pictures. They can be used to represent anything we want to communicate: people, places, activities, events etc. For example a cup can stand for a drink, a ball can represent outside play, a piece of towel could communicate that it is bathtime.
● We are likely to be using everyday objects with the individuals we support already e.g. when saying to a person “we are going out” whilst handing them their coat, thereby giving them a visual clue as to what is going to happen, so they do not need to understand all the words you are saying.
● OORs are objects that are used in a structured and consistent way, and used every time the activity etc is going to happen.
● An object becomes an Object of Reference when the person begins to associate it with the activity it represents.

Part II