Tactile Sign Language
Many people are familiar with the famous scene from “the Miracle Worker” when Anne Sullivan pumps water into a young Helen Keller’s hand while signing the word “water” into the other. This is a life-changing moment for Helen; she is learning tactile sign language.
Tactile sign language requires the people in the conversation to physically touch each other in order to communicate. One person “speaks” signs into the hand of the “listener,” while the listener cups their hands around the speaker's hands to feel the words being formed. Because this is such an intimate form of communication, instructors only train one or two people at a time.