Two adolescent boys sit across from each other at a table while using tactile sign language to communicate. The boy on the left has a big smile and the boy on the right wears glasses.

Importance of sign language for children with multiple disabilities and vision impairment, or deafblindness

Sign language is used around the globe and can be an important form of communication for children with multiple disabilities.

Everyone has an inherent need to share thoughts with others and to understand what others are trying to communicate. If a child has multiple disabilities with a vision impairment, sign language is often one of the tools she can use to convey her thoughts to others. Her social skills can expand as she learns to express herself appropriately and respond to the communication of others. Sign language is also a wonderful way to support early literacy and language development.

Individuals with multiple disabilities or deafblindness learn and use sign language according to their cognitive and physical abilities. Depending on their abilities, they may use visual sign language (where information is processed through the eyes) or tactile sign language (where information is processed using touch). 

An adolescent girl sits across from a woman while they use tactile sign language.
An adolescent girl sits across from her teacher while they use tactile sign language. 

A variety of sign languages are used across the globe; yet, when individuals from different countries come together using different forms of sign language, it is beautiful to see how meaning can be co-created between them for a shared understanding. 

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