Methods of communication
Depending on their residual sight and hearing, people who are deafblind may use some form of tactile or other communication, including:
- deafblind manual alphabet also called fingerspelling, this involves spelling out words on someone’s hand in British Sign Language (BSL)
- block alphabet this is when a hearing person uses the tip of their forefinger to spell out each word in English in block capitals on the receiver’s palm. This method is most often used when communicating with members of the public and others who are unlikely to be familiar with the deafblind manual alphabet.
- hands-on signing some people who were born deaf and then experience sight loss as an adult continue to use sign language even when they can no longer follow visual signs. They touch the hands of the person who’s signing and follow their movements.
- visual frame signing when a deafblind person has a limited field of vision, sign language can still be used if the signs are adapted according to their visual needs. In this instance, a BSL sign language interpreter could be booked.