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Loss of effective communication is a defining characteristic of deafblindness.

Image: Isolation

Without meaningful communication, potential consequences can be withdrawal, disengagement, loss of relationships, isolation, mental health problems and depression. Loss of independence and spontaneity can lead to a lack of self-confidence, self-worth and self-esteem.

Our ability to communicate effectively undoubtedly shapes the world we live in.

“Communication is crucial to self-determination; the power to make choices that reflect personal preferences”

A central principal of FACS is to break down barriers and assumptions about communicating with deafblind people and look at ways that we can effectively communicate with the range of deafblind people to enable autonomy, choice, control and dignity.

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FACS have a range of Communication Workshops in various workplace settings, that asks us to consider how the loss of effective communication can impact and undermine health and well-being, self-esteem, mental health and quality of life.

The workshops explore perceptions of loss and change and how to support staff to identify deafblind people and enhance their skills, awareness and confidence to use effective communication strategies, understanding that the quality of their communication relationships can impact on interaction and intervention.

  • Learn more about these Communication Workshops which would be appropriate for the range of deafblind people you work with.

Communication Methods

Image: Communication Methods

There are many different communication methods used by people who have a range of combined sight and hearing loss and may adapt or use any number of methods, according to personal preference and different communication environments.

Good Communication Tactics

Image: Good Communication Tactics

There are a number of good communication tactics that you can use to communicate successfully with deafblind people with some residual sight and hearing.


Deafblind Manual

Image: Deafblind Manual

The Deafblind Manual is used by people with little or no sight and is similar to British Sign Language (BSL) Fingerspelling. Each letter of the alphabet is ‘spelled’ out by touching a specific area of a deafblind person’s palm or finger, usually the left hand.

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