Methods of communicating with people who are deafblind

Many people who are deafblind or have sensory impairments will use more than one mode of communication.

A deafblind man and a woman communicating with each otherRemember that Sense can point you to experts who can contribute hugely towards professionals' decisions when working with people with a combined sight and hearing loss.

Non-verbal - includes body movements; breathing patterns; eye pointing 

Alphabet based communication - deafblind manual; large print; Braille; block 

Symbol systems - objects of reference; Bliss 

Sign systems - British Sign Language (BSL); Makaton  

Speech-based - includes clear speech; lipreading; Tadoma 

Communication aids - including technological switches; Braille 

Intensive interaction - imitation; observation; using rhythm 

Total communication - combining methods 

Further information on communication is available to Sense members from theSense library.


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First published: Monday 21 May 2012
Updated: Tuesday 27 June 2017