Living with Deafblindness

Deafblind Manual Alphabet

The deafblind manual alphabet is a method of spelling out words onto a person with deafblindness’ hand – with each letter denoted by a particular sign or place on the hand.

  • You can fingerspell on the individual’s left or right hand – check with the individual which hand they prefer to use
  • Avoid gripping the individual’s wrist, rather support their wrist with your open hand underneath
  • Check whether a sitting or standing position suits both of you and the situation
  • Comfort and support of both of you is very important

Deafblind Manual Alphabet

Auslan 26 letter English version

Below is the alphabet used in the BANZSL group of sign languages.  It has been used in British Sign Language and Auslan since at least the 19th century, and in New Zealand Sign Language since the 1970’s.  Variations of this alphabet is used in some dialects of Indo-Pakistani Sign Language.

Other forms of manual deafblind alphabet are used around the world – eg. The Lorm Deafblind Manual Alphabet (Belgium).  In some countries, eg. Sweden, the one-handed alphabet used is modified by applying the shape of the letter into the hand of the person who is deafblind at a different angle, making the shape easier to feel.

Permission and Reference for the above image:
For other resources for BSL users – please see:

Click here to download a copy of the Auslan Deafblind Manual Alphabet. You will need to choose “Fit to page” when you print it to ensure the image enlarges to a full page.