The Deafblind Manual Alphabet.

This is the Deafblind Manual Alphabet [D]

The Deafblind Manual is the best way to communicate with someone who is Deafblind. You can learn it quickly, and here's how you do it. Stick out your index finger (that's the long one next to your thumb) on your right hand. fold your other fingers out of the way. Think of this finger as your pen. You are going to use it to write - not on paper, but on your deafblind friends left hand which they will hold out for you. First learn the vowels. They're easy. Just remember the order A,E,I,O,U.

And now for the complete alphabet.
And now two quick signs that come in handy.

Block Alphabet.

This is where the Block Alphabet image is. Use the [D] link to learn more    [D]

For a more detailed Description of the Block Alphabet Please Enter here.


This is a simple system used by some deafblind people. With your forefinger draw the clear shape of capital letters on the palm of the deafblind person's hand. Use the whole palm for each letter - keeping them large and clear. Place one letter over the top of the last - do not attempt to write across the palm as you would on a sheet of paper and keep your pen in your pocket! Pause slightly at the end of each word making sure the person is able to follow what you are saying. Letters should generally be drawn from left to right and from top to bottom. Letters M N and W should be drawn keeping the finger on the palm and not in separate strokes. Numbers can alternatively be drawn as figures. Do not use the Continental (7) as this is easily confused as (2).

Communicating using braille on the hand.

Good braillists may like to use braille contractions for speed and some will indicate that words/sentences need not be complete because they have a good grasp of language.

Braillists may prefer to use dots 4, 5 and 6 for word signs if the deafblind person wishes and the sender knows braille.

Hands-on Signing.

Hands-on Signing - this is used by British Sign Language users whose vision no longer allows them to see sign language and they therefore 'feel' sign language by resting their hands on the communicator's.

Sign Language.

Sign Language, Some deafblind people were deaf from birth and became blind as teen-agers or adults. They prefer the sign language used by deaf people  Instead of watching the hands and arms of friends, they touch the hands of the person making the signs to learn what is being said. It is usually necessary to restrict the movements involved in making signs so that a deafblind person can follow along conveniently. This system can lead to confusion. It requires the speaker to have extensive training in sign language. However, it is possible to interpret as quickly as English is spoken using this method.


Tadoma is tactile lipreading (or tactile speechreading). The Tadoma user, feels the vibrations of the throat and face and jaw positions of the speaker as he/she speaks. Unfortunately, this requires years of training and practice, and can be slow. Although highly-skilled Tadoma users can comprehend speech at near listening rates, most Tadoma users are much slower and the added restriction of the user having to be in contact with the speaker adds to the problems associated with the Tadoma method. It is not very popular because it is hard to do and not very accurate.

Tadoma is named after the first 2 children to whom it was taught, Winthrop "Tad" Chapman and Oma Simpson.

Visual Frame Signing.

Visual Frame Signing - a way of modifying and using sign language in a restricted space to suit the visual needs of the individual receiving it.

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