dbs‎ > ‎


Deaf Blind Services

Alphabet Codes used by the Deaf-Blind

These are alphabet codes used by the Deaf-Blind to communicate. We call them codes because they are used to represent English letters and words though some may also be used in as part of a language. We teach all of these based on need as methods of communication.

American Manual Alphabet - This is the alphabet most commonly used by the Deaf in the United States of America as part of American Sign Language.

Braille - The primary reading medium of the blind. The standard reading Medium in the US is Grade 2 English braille (contracted) which nearly all books for the blind in the US are published in. This is Grade 1 (uncontracted) braille, it is taught before Grade 2 and people who go blind later in life may choose only to learn grade 1 so that they can write notes, make lists, label things, and read books that are published in grade 1. It is possible to use grade one as a way of communicating with others through a computer, braille TTY, or by writing notes back and forth with a person who also knows it. There is also a device called a Tele-a-touch that has a keyboard on one side and a braille cell on the other side and it is possible to use that for one way communication with the Deaf-Blind person replying by voice or another communication method.

British Deaf - Blind Manual Alphabet - Based on the British two handed manual alphabet it is sometimes easier for blind people to learn than the one handed American alphabet.

Moon - Invented in the 1800's by William Moon, this is an alphabet used primarily in the UK by people who go blind later in life or by blind children who have additional disabilities. It can also be traced with a finger into the palm of a person who knows it and used for communication like Print on Palm.

Print on Palm - This is were one person uses one of their fingers to trace capital print letters into another persons palm. This works well and is easy for anyone who can read and write print to learn, it is fairly slow though.

Beth Koenig,
Mar 2, 2018, 1:49 PM