Learning the Deafblind Manual can be simple and quick.
It is used by people with little or no sight and is similar to British Sign Language (BSL) Fingerspelling. Each letter of the alphabet is ‘spelt’ out by touching a specific area of a deafblind person’s palm or finger, usually the left hand. The deafblind person can then receive the letter.
The letter ‘A’, for example, is spelt by touching the person’s thumb. Words are separated by a slight pause and if you make a mistake you can rub the person’s palm and start again.
The advantage of this method is that it is quick and easy to learn, and depending on the deafblind person’s receiving speed, it can be a very quick method of communication. It also needs no equipment, just a willingness to learn.
Learning the Deafblind Block Alphabet
Another way to try and communicate with someone who has dual sensory loss, if you are unsure how that person receives communication, is by using Deafblind Block Alphabet.
To do this, each letter is written on the person’s outstretched palm with your forefinger, one on top of the other using Block Capitals confidently, so that the deafblind person is able to feel the strokes. Letters are placed directly on top of each other, with a short pause in between words.
Communication with deafblind people is often through trial and error; but people will always appreciate someone trying to communicate with them in any way that may be useful. Getting to know someone and develop trust and having the confidence to try, will find what is right for the individual.
Find out more about learning the different ways to communicate effectively and confidently with deafblind people on our Communication Workshops page.