Deaf-Blind Resource List


Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults
141 Middle Neck Road
Sands Point, New York 11050-1299
Voice: 516-944-8900
TTY: 516-944-8637
Fax: 516-944-7302

The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program
Telephon: 800-825-4595
For additional information about the program:

iCanConnect advertises and promotes the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, and provides technical support and service information to people experiencing combined hearing and vision loss who may be eligible for the program's services.

International Hearing Society 
20361 Middlebelt Road
Livonia, Michigan 48152
Toll Free: 800-521-5247

450 Science Drive
Madison, Wisconsin 53711
Phone: 608-238-5400

Manufactures telecommunications devices for the deaf which can be made to work with VersaBrailles to make communications devices for the deaf-blind.

Communication Methods:

Alphabet Gloves

A glove is worn with letters and numbers printed on it.  A sighted person spells words by touching the appropriate letter on the glove.  The deaf-blind person can tell which letters are meant by knowing which part of the hand was touched.  The deaf-blind person must remember where each letter appears on the glove in order to interpret the touches correctly. This is a cumbersome communication method, but it works well when no other system is available.

Manual Alphabet 

The manual alphabet is a series of hand motions which depicts letters.  In some instances, the fingers are positioned to resemble print letters.  Other letters are formed by arbitrary hand positions which bear no resemblance to print symbols.  The basics of the alphabet can be learned in a few hours.  It takes a good deal of practice to develop speed. The deaf-blind person reads by placing his or her hand over the hand of the person making the letters.  It's possible to communicate at a speed similar to that used in shorthand dictation.  An interpreter must summarize speeches, lectures, and ordinary conversation.  The manual alphabet can be one of the quickest and most versatile communication methods for a deaf-blind person.


It is possible to communicate with deaf-blind people by tracing the shapes of block letters on the palm of their hand with an index finger.  Capital letters should be printed and cursive writing should be avoided.

Sign Language 

Some deaf-blind people were deaf from birth and became blind as teenagers or adults.  They prefer the sign language used by deaf people.  Instead of watching the hands and arms of friends, they touch the hands of the person making the signs to learn what is being said.  It is usually necessary to restrict the movements involved in making signs so that a deaf-blind person can follow along conveniently.  This system can lead to confusion.  It requires the speaker to have extensive training in sign language.  However, it is possible to interpret as quickly as English is spoken using this method.


Tadoma is lip reading by touch.  It is not very popular because it is hard to do and not very accurate.


This device is portable and weighs less than four pounds. It consists of a small typewriter keyboard which the interpreter uses to pass on information. The deaf-blind person sits opposite the typist and places a finger on a small Braille "screen." Each letter that is typed appears briefly under the finger of the deaf-blind person. The letter can be felt as long as the typist holds down the key.  Only one letter can be felt at a time. Fifty words per minute is probably the maximum speed of the device. The chief advantage of the Tellatouch is that it allows people who have no specialized training to communicate quickly with the deaf-blind.


American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults 
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230-4998
Phone: 410-659-9315

American Association of the Deaf-Blind 
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 121 
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910-3803
TTY Phone: 301-495-4402
Videophone: 301-563-9107

Contact: Timothy Jackson, President.  Membership organization of deaf-blind persons.  It holds annual conventions each year in June and is closely tied to many of the service agencies around the country.

Deaf-Blind Division of the National Federation of the Blind
President: Joe Naulty
3924 South Wind Drive
West Melbourne, Florida 32904
Phone: 321-768-9500

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center
Info to Go
Gallaudet University - Anita Gilbert
800 Florida Avenue, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002-3695
Phone: 202-651-5051
Fax:  202-651-5708

Sign Language Associates, Incorporated 
8630 Fenton Street
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Phone: 301-588-7591 

Offers free manual for parents of deaf-blind children.

Miscellaneous Services:

Apartment Complex for Deaf-Blind: 

Commission on Compassion
c/o Jim Hansen
6819 North Figueroa
Los Angeles, California 90042
Phone: 213-258-2481

Apartment complex with limited interpreter service for those who live in building.  Mr. Hansen provides this service as part of a Christian mission.


Capcom, Incorporated
9 Tanner Street, Suite 6
Haddonfield, New Jersey 08033
Telephone: 856-428-0878

The Hearing and Speech Agency
Centralized Interpreter Referral Services
Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building
5900 Metro Drive
Baltimore, Maryland 21215
Telephone: 410-318-6780
TDD: 410-318-6758

Alcatel-Lucent Technologies
600-700 Mountain Avenue
Murray Hill, New Jersey 07974
Telephone: 800-252-2835
TDD: 800-896-9032

Assists with repair of telephones using TDD, TTY, or amplified handsets.

Maryland Relay
State of Maryland
Department of Information Technology/
Telecommunications Access of Maryland
301 West Preston Street, Suite 1008A
Baltimore, Maryland 21201 
Voice/TTY: 800-552-7724

Provides free TTY's, amplified headsets and other assistive telephone devices to deaf-blind persons.

Hear Now Program
A program of the Starkey Hearing Foundation
6700 Washington Avenue South
Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344
Phone: 866-354-3254
Fax: 952-828-6900

Provides hearing aid assistance to low income individuals.

Online Resources: - Minnesota's online resource about combined vision and hearing loss.


Hot-Line to Deaf-Blind
American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults
18440 Oxnard Street
Tarzana, California 91356-1504
Phone: 818-343-2022

Publicaton includes summary of current news written especially for deaf-blind persons.  It is taken directly from wire services and straight news sources and is the only Braille news publication which does not include editorials.  Available free upon request.

Deaf-Blind Service Center Bulletin
Deaf-Blind Service Center
2366 Eastlake Avenue East, Suite 312
Seattle, Washington 98102
Phone: 206-323-9178

Manual for Parents of Deaf-Blind Children
Sign Language Associates, Incorporated
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 406
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Phone: 301-588-7591
Fax: 301-588-3021

Publications for Teachers of deaf-blind: 
Western Oregon University
Teaching Research Publications
345 North Monmouth Avenue
Monmouth, Oregon 97361
Phone: 503-838-8391

National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness
DB-LINK Information Services
345 North Monmouth Avenue
Monmouth, Oregon 97361
Telephone: 800-438-9376
TTY: 800-854-7013
Fax: 503-838-8150

Federally funded national information clearing house on children who are deaf-blind.

Rehabilitation Services:

Deaf-Blind Service Center 
1620 18th Avenue, Suite 200
Seattle, Washington 98122
Voice or TTY: 206-323-9178

Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults
141 Middle Neck Road
Sands Point, New York 11050-1299
Voice: (516) 944-8900
TTY: (516) 944-8637
Fax: (516) 944-7302

Federally funded program providing direct services to deaf-blind youth and adults.  Program has ten regional offices throughout the country and has developed a number of aids and devices for deaf-blind individuals through research department.

Relay Services:

Teddi for Maryland
Toll Free: 800-735-2258

Can get a relay operator number in each state from the operator or directory assistance.


Tactile Communicators: 

Silent Call Communications®
Post Office Box 868
Clarkston, Michigan 48347-0868
Phone: 248-673-0221
In-WATS: 800-572-5227
Fax: 248-673-5442

Vibra-Call personal alert system.

Telecommunications Devices: 

450 Science Drive
Madison, Wisconsin 53711
Phone: 608-238-5400

Manufactures telecommunications for the deaf which can be made to work with VersaBrailles to make communication devices for the deaf-blind.