Open Hands Open Access: Deaf-Blind Intervention Modules

Module 22: An Introduction to Sign Language and Braille

PaTTAN - Online Course

Session Dates

Saturday April 22, 2023 - PaTTAN - Online Course
Monday June 05, 2023 - PaTTAN - Online Course

This event is by invitation only. You must have a registration key in order to register.

This course reviews sign language and braille as modes of access to language and printed materials. Learners who are deaf-blind may utilize their modes independently or in combination with other modalities. Participants will identify that sign language and braille are abstract forms of communication and should be considered as higher levels of communication. Also covered is information concerning emerging language users who are deaf-blind and how they will utilize modes that are at a pre-symbolic level of communication prior to moving onto these methods. It is critical that communication partners be aware of the hierarchy of language development and understand how to scaffold the learning of language.


Participants will:

  • Review language development on a hierarchical continuum.
  • Describe the intervener´s role in supporting sign language and braille development.
  • Summarize how the consistent use of strategies and modalities across communication partners and environments is essential to the learner who is deaf-blind.
  • Explain why students who are deaf-blind are multi-modal communicators.
  • Describe the role of touch and how it is re-prioritized as an access point by students who are deaf-blind regardless of the use of functional vision (i.e. touch for communication, touch for information, touch for emotions, etc.).

Target Audience

Teams and Individuals working with and/or interested in professional development regarding students who are deaf-blind, such as parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, and other service providers, including those who are not seeking to become interveners.

Topics Covered: Deaf-Blind

Event Info

Event Type:

On-line Courses

Credit Type:

Act 48 Clock Hour
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
Hours of Instructional Time
No credit


PaTTAN Educational Consultant

Event Contact:


Lorraine Byer
800-441-3215 x7258

Content Contact:

Patti McGowan

Additional Info

This module is part of the Open Hands Open Access Intervener Learning Modules (OHOA) series; you must be an OHOA cohort participant to register. The PA Deaf-Blind Project runs a training of the OHOA modules with a new cohort beginning periodically.  Please contact Patti McGowan or Lorraine Byer for more information about the OHOA modules.