Tutorial: Learning the International Deaf Blind Alphabet
August 7, 2019
The International Deafblind alphabet
can be used to communicate with deafblind people throughout the English-speaking world.
You’ll notice that it is slightly different to Auslan, the sign
language used in Australia Frances Gentle of RIDBC, SPEVI and ICEVI presents an introductory
demonstration of how the alphabet may be used to
communicate with a person who is deafblind or who has a dual sensory impairment. So when you’re introducing the deafblind alphabet to a student or a child or an adult it’s important to
consider your own posture and the posture of the person you’re working with because obviously you’re going to be communicating in deafblind sign for a period of time. The first thing to do is make sure the person you’re working with is comfortable and that you’re comfortable yourself.
Now you’re going to be using their left hand so I strongly recommend you sit on the right side of the person and you put their left hand in the
palm of your left hand. This enables you to use your right hand to be using images in the alphabet on their left hand. Preferably you’d put a cushion under their hand just for comfort and um and allow them to communicate this way. So are we ready? We’ll begin with the vowels – A E I O U Ok – let’s start. The letter A now B is like a buzzing bee that
lands in the middle of your palm. C looks like a C which is drawn on the corner of your hand. so are we ready? A B C – now D looks to me like a capital D that I’m drawing on the side of my hand – tactually it feels like you’ve got two fingers at the top and bottom of the index finger. So we’ve got A B C D E F – looks like the two strokes of an F on the side of your hand hand. G – H is the sweep across your hand. I. Alright – we ready? A B C D E F G H I J. So J is like you’re drawing a J – right down the palm from the top of your tallest finger. Now K is a little tricky – and it is the middle part of one index finger touching the middle
part of the other index finger. so side on it kinda looks like a lower
case K but feel what it’s like on your
finger. it’s an unusual feel. L M N O. Alright we’ll start from the beginning. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O Now P is a pinch on your index finger. P – Q is like a quoits so it’s you hooking around that it’s your thumb. An R is the funniest of the lot – its a slightly curved shape on your hand where you lying your index finger across like – a little bit like the curve of an R. Except it’s going the opposite way. S. An S is different to the Auslan S because it’s the index finger hanging off the
little finger. T. All right let’s go back to the beginning. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V and remember it’s a wide V not an N. V – now W is unusual You’re gripping the upper part of your hand – it’s very different to an Auslan W. W – you got it? X is like an X on the side. Remember F is two fingers, X is one. So it’s an X. Y – you’re putting your index finger into the soft part of your thumb to make a Y-shape. Z is Zorro. Z is your hand going in here. Ok. Here we go. A B C D E F G G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Beautiful! Now if you make a mistake you rub it out and clean the slate and start the word again. Yes is two Y’s – No is two N’s. So let us demonstrate the alphabet on the person’s hand. in the comfortable position. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z You can find more resources on using the International deaf-blind alphabet in the description of this
video on our YouTube channel page.