This article defines the difference between cues, signals and
L. (1984). Touch the baby: Blind and visually impaired children as patients.
Helping them respond to care. New York: AFB Press.
This booklet provides practical information on the use of
communication and touch cues in clinical settings. These signals help young
children to understand when interactions will involve caregiving or comfort,
and when they will involve uncomfortable medical
Miles, B. (Rev. 2003) Talking the language of the hands to the
hands: The importance of hands for the person who is deaf-blind. DB-LINK
The National Information Clearinghouse on Children who are Deaf-Blind.
This paper focuses on the development of social relationships and
language through hand movements, manual exploration, and tactile interactions
with children who are deaf-blind. It provides strategies on ways to initiate
and maintain interactions with children who are deaf-blind. Available in
English, Spanish, German, and Swedish.
This paper discusses various aspects of literacy as important for
individuals who are deaf-blind. These include the social functions or reading
and writing, conditions that facilitate literacy, and how to make literacy
materials accessible to individuals who are deaf-blind.
B.,& McLetchie, B. (2004). Developing concepts with children who are
deaf-blind. DB-LINK The National Information Clearinghouse on Children who
are Deaf-Blind. http://www.dblink.org/lib/concepts.htm
This paper provides an overview of the influence of deaf-blindness on
concept development. It emphasizes the importance of relationships,
communication and conversation, access to the world, and activities and
routines in supporting concept development in children who are deaf-blind.
This article provides strategies for supporting tactile skills during
interactions with children who have visual impairments and multiple
disabilities. It provides a format for observing and identifying the
childs tactile skills within daily activities and many practical
suggestions. Available in English and Spanish.
C. (1996). Communication matrix. A communication skill assessment for
individuals at the earliest stages of communication development. Portland,
OR: Oregon Health Sciences University, Center on Self-Determination.
This assessment tool identifies the range of communication development
from pre-intentional and intentional behaviors to the use of abstract symbols
C., & Schweigert, P. (1997). Home inventory of problem solving skills.
Portland, OR: Oregon Health Sciences University, Center on
This instrument focuses on early cognitive development of nonverbal
children who have severe and multiple disabilities. It assesses a childs
basis skills with objects, ways the child gains access to objects, and ways he
or she uses objects.
Books and Manuals
S., Buultjens, M., Clark, C., Eyre, J.T., & Pease, L. (2000). Teaching
children who are deafblind. Contact communication and learning. London:
This book discusses deaf-blindness and the need strategies for
promoting the childs communication and social interaction. It provides
information on assessment, instruction, and curriculum.
(Ed)(2002). Understanding deafblindness: Issues, perspectives, and
strategies. Logan, UT: HOPE.
This two-volume publication is a comprehensive resource for working
with children who are deaf-blind. These volumes include chapters on
communication and ways to promote the childs use of touch and tactile
(2001). Calendars: For students with multiple impairments including
deafblindness. Austin, TX: Texas School for the Blind and Visually
guide describes the benefits of calendar systems and provides information on
the continuum of different types of calendars and on how to develop them. Also
available in Spanish.
(Ed.) (1999). Essential elements in early intervention. Visual impairments
and multiple disabilities. New York: AFB Press.
focuses on supports for infants who have visual impairments and multiple
disabilities. Chapters are organized under three areas: (a) the principles of
early intervention, (b) vision and hearing assessment, and (c) the development
of learning strategies.
& Dote-Kwan, J. (Eds). (1995). Starting points. Instructional practices
for young children whose multiple disabilities include visual impairment.
Los Angeles: Blind Childrens Center.
provides a framework and specific strategies for teaching young children with
visual impairments and additional disabilities. Topics include identifying
characteristics and learning needs, guiding principles for instruction,
instructional strategies, communication, daily living skills, positive behavior
support, orientation and mobility, occupational therapy, roles of itinerant
teachers, and family perspectives.
& Downing, J.E. (2006). Tactile strategies for children who have visual
impairments and multiple disabilities: Promoting communication and learning
skills. New York: AFB Press www.afb.orwww.afb.org
explains the importance of the sense of touch to communication and learning and
discusses tactile adaptations to manual and alternative communication methods.
It provides a systematic approach to selecting tactile strategies to meet an
individual child's abilities and needs.
J.E. (2002). Including students with severe and multiple disabilities in
typical classrooms: Practical strategies for teachers. (2nd ed.) Baltimore:
Paul H. Brookes.
This book covers
the age span from preschool through high school of students learning in typical
settings. It provides examples of students with multiple disabilities,
including sensory and deaf-blindness. Specific strategies target ways of fully
including all students in the learning process despite very complex and
challenging needs. Considerable attention is paid to adapting academic areas
and providing practical suggestions.
J. E. (2005a). Teaching communication skills to students with severe
disabilities. (2nd. ed.) Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
contains many practical strategies for assessing the communication skills of
students with very complex and challenging needs. A student-centered and
natural context approach is taken in determining what communication skills are
needed. Suggestions are provided for facilitating communication skill
development in everyday situations across the age span. Specific emphasis is
placed on encouraging interactions between children with and without severe
disabilities in typical educational situations. Multiple modes of communication
are stressed for children who typically do not depend on speech alone to convey
J.E. (2005b). Teaching literacy to students with signigicant disabilites:
Strategies for the K-12 inclusive classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin
stresses the importance of literacy for all children and youth and specifically
focuses on those who have often been denied access to literacy experiences. The
concept of literacy is defined broadly to enable access for all children.
Specific examples of adapted literacy materials and activities at different age
and grade levels are provided throughout the text.
(1997). Communication: A guide to teaching students with visual and multiple
impairments. Austin: TX: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
This resource discusses how
deaf-blindness and visual impairment in children with severe
disabilities can affect their communication. It provides approaches for
assessing and teaching communication skills, and describes a standard tactual
symbol system and reproducible forms.
K.M., Prickett, J.G., Welch, T.R., & Joffe, E. (Eds.) (1995). Hand in
hand: Essentials of communication and orientation and mobility for your
students who are deaf-blind. New York: AFB Press.
comprehensive resource provides information on communication and orientation
and mobility instruction for students who are deaf-blind. It provides key
concepts, instructional strategies, and learning activities for working on
these two areas with preschoolers, elementary, and high school students who are
M.D., Chen, D., & Haney, M. (2000). Promoting learning through active
interaction: A guide to early communication with young children who have
multiple disabilities. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
field-tested curriculum is composed of five modules for promoting intentional
communication with young children who have severe and multiple disabilities.
Handouts and recording sheets are provided in English and
& MacWilliam, L. (2002). Learning together. A creative approach to
learning for children with multiple disabilities and a visual impairment.
London, England: RNIB.
describes a communication program that has been used extensively with children
who have multiple disabilities and visual impairment in Scotland. Topics
include movement interaction, developing natural gesture, learning a sign
system, encouraging play, the learning environment, and observations of
M., & McCall, S. (2002). Learning through touch. Supporting children
with visual impairment and additional difficulties. London, England: David
provides an in-depth discussion of research on the sense of touch and the
influence of visual impairment and additional disabilities on learning through
touch. It provides practical suggestions for assessing a childs use of
touch; and for developing learning experiences, communication, early literacy,
and tactile symbols.
& Riggio, M. (Eds.) (1999). Remarkable conversations: A guide to
developing meaningful conversations with children and young adults who are
deafblind. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind.
addresses the complexity of communication with students who are deaf-blind and
who demonstrate different levels of ability. It contains beautiful photographs
of interactions with these students. Topics include understanding
deafblindness, conversations as the essence of communication, partnerships with
families, selection of communication modes, developing language, and meeting
the needs of individuals.
C., & Schweigert, P. (2000). Tangible symbol systems (Rev. ed.).
Portland, OR: Center on Self-Determination, Oregon Health and Science
University, Design to Learn Products. www.designtolearn.com
provides a field-tested systematic instructional sequence for teaching students
who have severe and multiple disabilities to communicate using a concrete
symbol system. Tangible symbols (objects or pictures) are defined as having an
obvious relationship to their referents.
C., & Schweigert, P. (2005). First things first. Early communication for
the pre-symbolic child with severe disabilities. Portland, OR: Oregon
Health & Science University, Design to Learn Products.
provides an overview of communication development with a focus on strategies to
support children who are pre-symbolic communicators. It offers a format for
assessing the childs communicative behaviors and for collecting data to
monitor and evaluate intervention.
Barnard, K.E., & Brazelton, T.B. (Eds.) (1990). Touch.
The foundation of experience. National Center for Clinical Infant Programs.
This book contains the proceedings of Johnson and Johnson Pediatric
Round Table X. Papers discuss tactile experiences from philosophical,
neuroanatomical, developmental, and therapeutic
A. (1986). Touching. The human significance of the skin (3rd ed). New
York: Harper & Row.
This book discusses the profound effects of tactile experiences on
emotion, behavior, and development. It draws on diverse studies of animals and
humans from the fields of medicine, biology, psychology, and anthropology to
demonstrate the importance of tactile stimulation and physical contact.
Chen, D., & Downing, J.E. (2006). Tactile learning
strategies: Interacting with children who have visual impairments and multiple
disabilities [ video & DVD]. New York: AFB Press
This video and DVD will be available in English (closed-captioned) and
Spanish. Examples of a number of tactile strategies are shown, including mutual
tactile attention, tactile modeling, hand-under-hand and hand-over-hand
guidance, touch and object cues, coactive and tactile
Klein, M.D., & Haney. (2000). Promoting learning through active
interaction: An instructional video [video & booklet]. Baltimore: Paul
H. Brookes. www.brookespublishing.com
This closed captioned video demonstrates a step-by-step process for
developing intentional communication with young children with severe and
multiple disabilities. The video is available in
& Schachter, P.H. (1997). Making the most of early communication.
Strategies for supporting communication with infants, toddlers, and
preschoolers whose multiple disabilities include vision and hearing loss
[video & booklet]. New York: AFB Press. www.afb.org
This closed-captioned video provides examples of early
caregiver-infant games, simulations of visual impairment and hearing loss, and
strategies to promote communication in young children. It shows interviews with
parents and teachers and preschoolers in oral and total communication
classrooms. The video is available with audio
(1987). Getting in touch [Video & booklet]. Champaign, IL: Research
This video demonstrates the use of touch and object cues with a wide
age-range children who are deaf-blind. It also provides tips on interpersonal
and tactile considerations in greeting, and interacting with a student who is
totally deaf and blind.
K.M., Prickett, J.G., Welch, T.R., & Joffe, E. (Eds.) (1995). Hand in
hand: It can be done [Video & booklet]. New York: AFB Press.
This closed-captioned video provides an introduction to working with
students of all ages who are deaf-blind, with a particular focus on
communication and orientation and mobility. It provides demonstrations of
practical suggestions and insights from teachers and family
J., & Bailey, B. (1997). Textured communication symbols: Talking through
touch [Video & booklet]. Terra Haute, IN: Blumberg Center for
Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education, Indiana State University. (800)
This video and booklet provides considerations for developing a
communication system using textures for individuals with multiple disabilities
and sensory impairments. These materials provide guidelines for deciding
whether an individual needs textured symbols and how to develop them. A four
phase instructional process is provided to teach an individual to use the
C., & Schweigert, P. (1996). Tangible symbol systems (Rev. ed.).
Portland, OR: Center on Self-Determination, Oregon Health Sciences University,
Design to Learn Products. www.designtolearn.com
This videotape provides illustrations of individuals using tangible
symbols and shows how five children learned to use this system of
communication. It accompanies the manual Tangible symbol
SKI*HI Institute. (1992-93).
Introduction to tactile communication series. [Video]. HOPE.
This closed-captioned videotape provides introduces tactile
communication and the other videotapes in this series on tactile communication.
Institute. (1993). Using tactile signals and cues [Video series].
Logan,UT: HOPE. www.hopepubl.com
This series of five closed-captioned videotapes demonstrates how to
use tactile signals and cues with young children who need tactile
communication. The tapes show specific strategies for selecting and using
signals, providing choices, promoting turn taking, using coactive signs, and
creating activities to support communication.
Institute. (1990). A coactive sign system. [Video series]. Logan, UT:
This series of nine closed-captioned videotapes demonstrates how to
use coactive signing with children who need this hand-on-hand system of
communication. The tapes provide vocabulary and teaching tips; and show the use
of coactive signs in home situations.
Institute. (1992-93). Using tactile interactive conversational signing
[Video series]. Logan, UT: HOPE. www.hopepubl.com
This series of five closed-captioned videotapes demonstrates the use
of interactive signing (feeling anothers signs), the transition from
coactive to interactive signing, materials and activities that promote
interaction, supporting interaction with peers, and interpreting for people who
use interactive signs.
Research Division (1997). You & Me. Communication. Monmouth, OR:
Western Oregon State College, Author. (503) 838-8391
This video provides information on the concepts, skills, and supports
that are needed for a student who is deaf-blind to communicate in an inclusive
elementary school. The video demonstrates the use of object cues, coactive
signing; and tactile signing with adults and peers. The video is available with
Australia Deafblind Association (2001). Where do I begin? Developing
communication with children who are born deafblind. Maylands, West
Australia: Author. firstname.lastname@example.org
The video with open captions presents key strategies for developing
communication with children who are deaf-blind: Making contact
approach, building rapport, acknowledging communication efforts,
using tactile cues and symbols, tactile signing, establishing routines,
choice-making, and interrupted routine. It stresses the importance of following
the childs lead, particularly following the childs hands in
supporting expressive communication, respecting the childs needs and
consistent use of selected communication system.
Impaired Preschool Services (1996). Hands on experience: Tactual learning
skills. Can Do! Series [video]. Louisville, KY: Author.
This video demonstrates the benefits of touching, handling,
manipulating objects, and active participation in everyday situations. For
children who are blind, these hands-on experiences provide the foundation for