Picture 154Clear speech

Many people with a sight and hearing loss are able to communicated using clear speech, especially if they were born with some hearing. Remember to speak clearly, don’t shout and don’t talk too slowly.

Deafblind manual

Deafblind manual is an adapted form of finger spelling taken from British Sign Language (BSL). Each letter is spelt out on the hand, enabling communication by touch alone. It’s very simple to learn and having the basic skills will allow you to spell out words and sentences for a deafblind person. The most important thing to remember is that no matter how fast you can use manual, you should manual at the deafblind person’s pace. It’s quite easy to learn and most people can pick it up in just 20 minutes.

Take a look at the deafblind manual alphabet.

Block alphabet

Similar  in practice to deafblind manual, block alphabet is simply tracing the letters of the alphabet on the palm of the deafblind person using your forefinger.


British Sign Language (BSL) is likely to be the primary form of communication for someone that was born severely to profoundly deaf. It is a visual form of communication using signs, facial expressions and body language (source). Sign Supported English (SSE) is a variant of BSL, but the signs are used in the same order as they would be in spoken English. Deafblind people may use adapted BSL, to receive ‘visual frame BSL’ or ‘hands-on BSL’; these are more used by deafblind BSL users than normal signed BSL.

Large print/writing

As illustrated in the picture, using a whiteboard/notepad with large writing can be a useful way to communicate information quickly and clearly.

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