Using Images – Copyright Considerations.

In order to develop effective visual strategies or personalised communication aids for the adults and children that we support we often need to use large numbers of photos and images to make the resources meaningful. Now, of course – you can take your own photos of people and places, but with the internet and devices such as the iPad, access to more generic images has never been so easy!

If you are understandably concerned about copyright infringement, then listed below are a few sources that I know of that you can go to worry free to access images that are free to use widely – in some cases, even for commercial purposes!

  • Google Images I’m sure this is one that we all know and love – but do you know about the Advanced Image Search? You can filter the search by usage rights to ensure you only get access to images that are free to use or share.
  • Dreamstime This has a “free images” section once you have signed up as a registered user. See the information for each image under the license section.
  • Stock.xchng Once you have signed up as a member for free you can access photos with various levels of restrictions which are outlined for you under the availability section of each image.
  • morgueFile Same deal – sign up as a free member and then you can access free photos, I find this one easier to navigate and locate usage information for each image.
  • Freepik   Just a word of warning – make sure you spell it Freepik with a ‘k’ instead of an ‘x’ – I got quite a shock!

With all of these sites, once you select the individual images there is extra information available about the license conditions to ensure you can use the image for the purpose you intend.

Now – with just a few more steps you can ensure that the images you select are safe to be used! Do you know of any more great sites for free images?

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About Katie Lyon

Katie is a speech pathologist and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) consultant who has been working with young children and adults with complex communication needs for the past 13 years. She has had worked in various roles including Coordinator of the Non-electronic Communication Aid Scheme and Regional Communication Service in Victoria as part of the state-wide Communication Access Network. She has a keen interest in supporting families, teachers, direct support workers and therapists to access information about AAC and assistive technology through education and training. She currently works part-time with Spectronics and part-time with the Communication Resource Centre at Scope in Victoria.

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