Deafblind people experience loss of both hearing and vision. Deafblind people sometimes use the deafblind manual alphabet fingerspelt onto the hand or the Block Alphabet (capital letters spelt onto the palm of the hand). Deafblind people may also use visual-frame BSL (close up and in the centre of their visual range) or hands-on BSL, placing their hands around the other person signing.
People who are born deaf and lose their vision usually have some form of 'Usher Syndrome', a genetic condition that inflicts hearing and vision loss and affects 4-6% of deaf people. Most have acquired sign language skills and so adapt their communication to ‘hands on signing’, where their hands are placed over the hands of the person signing to them, or ‘visual frame’ signing (close up and in the centre of the visual range). Others, whose first language is English, may use the deafblind manual alphabet.
Hands on signing