method based on a standard manual sign system in which the receivers
hand(s) is placed lightly upon the hand(s) of the signer to
perceive the signs.
make language in the form of manual signs accessible to children
who are deaf and have insufficient vision to access signs visually.
Claw hands form ball-shape. Child places
his/her hands on the signers hands.
Place right "C" hand in front of the mouth, palm facing
left and make a motion as if taking a drink. Child places his/her
hands on the signers hands and follows the signer's movements.
the childs ability to place his or her hand(s) on the
signers hand(s) to determine whether tactile signing
is an appropriate method for the childs receptive communication.
the motor complexity of signs and the childs motor ability.
Consult an occupational or physical therapist if the child
has physical impairments.
number of sign movements to a minimum. Modify some signs to
make them easier to detect tactilely. Signs that are "made
on the body" should replace standard signs that are "made
in the air". Signs made with the whole hand may be easier
to perceive tactilely than signs involving finger movements
or part of the hand. Two-handed signs with symmetrical movements
are more easily recognized than asymmetrical ones.
of standard manual signs used by children who are deaf-blind
should be kept to a minimum, so that they learn standard manual
signs and are able to communicate with sign language users.
children will need signs tactilely in some situations but
not in others
(e.g., to follow the fast pace of signing, the child might
choose touch and not vision, or the child may choose to use
both depending on lighting conditions).
use of tactile tracking helps a child with a reduced visual
field to know where the signers hands are in space and
where to look. Tactile tracking involves touching the back
of the signers hands at the wrist.
the child understand the meaning of signs by signing about
what you are experiencing together (See
Mutual Tactile Attention).
who are severely visually impaired or who are not visually attentive
can perceive the signs tactilely.
signs provide a method of symbolic communication.
signs allow children to interact with those who use standard
of tactile signs requires cognitive, tactile, and memory skills.
all manual signs can be adapted easily to a tactile mode.
of sign tactilely may be idiosyncratic and may be only understood
by a few communication partners involved with an individual
signs require the receiver to know how to position his or her
hand(s) over the senders hand(s). Therefore, tactile signing
may not be useful for infants and other children because of
physical, behavioral or cognitive abilities that make it difficult
for them to actively obtain information in this manner.
smaller hands of a child may not be able to accurately perceive
the movements of the larger hands of adults that are producing
of tactile signs may be tiring for the sender because of the
weight and pressure of the receivers hands.
signing interrupts an ongoing activity of the child. For example,
a teacher produces a sign that a child receives tactilely and
then the child begins the activity. To maintain communication,
the teacher interrupts this child to provide sign input that
the child receives tactilely.
tactile signs are not understood by the child, he or she may
dislike this type of physical contact.
Introduce key word signs to label communicative behavior that
is within the child's repertoire (e.g., signals, gestures, objects
cues). If the child recognizes his/her spoon as a cue for mealtime,
then sign EAT, or if the child rocks his/her body when the swing
stops, then sign MORE SWING.
with key word signs that are useful, used frequently, motivating,
easy to make, easy to discriminate, and easily understood by
the child. Determine the motor complexity of sign production
and whether they will be an effective means of communication
for a child with physical disabilities. Consult an occupational
or physical therapist if the child has motor impairments.
Create multiple opportunities for the child to associate the
sign with the referent (object, person, activity, or experience)
so he or she can learn the meaning of the sign. Provide opportunities
for the child to generalize the use of signs across activities,
settings, and people.
standard manual signs and adapt their pace of production as
needed so the child can perceive them tactilely. Modify signs
to make them easier to detect tactilely. Keep movements to a
minimum. Signs that are "made on the body" should replace standard
signs that are "made in the air". Signs made with the whole
hand may be easier to perceive tactilely than signs involving
finger movements or part of the hand. Two-handed signs with
symmetrical movements are more easily recognized than asymmetrical
ones. However, be selective in adapting standard manual signs
so that children can still communicate with a larger group of
the child understand who is producing the sign and who is receiving
the sign. In tactile signing, the sender produces signs and
the receiver (child) places his or her hand(s) on the sender's
hand(s). If the sender is signing on the child's body then the
child is the receiver. If the communication partner is helping
the child to sign coactively, then the child is producing the
communication partner and child should be positioned so that
they are both comfortable and able to produce and receive signs.
Because the communication partner position may vary in relationship
to the child (i.e., beside the child or in front of the child),
he or she should remember to facilitate the child's access to
children will need signs tactilely in some situations but not
in others (e.g. to follow the fast pace of signing, the child
might choose touch and not vision, or the child may choose to
use both depending on lighting conditions).
children will need individual support to use their communication
system in a classroom with other students where the teacher
cannot convey information to the child individually.
Signing represents a synthesis of information from Project
SALUTEs focus groups, National Advisory Committee, staff
activities, and a review of relevant literature such as the
Here for Examples