Communication is an act or a process of passing information through significant messages, in interaction, that by the code and common contexts and by using appropriate strategies reaches the effect of sensitizing them to their respective intentions and/or state.
Communication between people is carried out predominantly by means of the oral language, and consists in the transmission and reception of alternative messages by means of that language.
In its essential function, this communication is acoustic. For this reason, when it is not possible to use the ear canal to establish communication, we look for alternative systems, such as: lip-reading, sign language or other. The deterioration of the ear canal is not, therefore, an impediment to communication, thanks to that you can use the visual channel as replacement element for the reception of the oral message, by sign language or writing text.
With all that, we can clearly reach the conclusion that a sight and hearing impairment generates some serious problems for communication.
Communication with others is one of the barriers that are constantly being to confront people with serious problems of combined sight and hearing. To establish that communication, it is particularly important the use of a third channel: the TOUCH, which becomes the most important resource in Deafblind people’s life; it is their mean to replace eyes and ears.
COMMUNICATION IS THE MAIN TOOL FOR LEARNING, acquisition of knowledge and access to others. For this reason, it is very important that all those who work with Deafblind people know the existing communication systems. We must be prepared not only to transmit messages by these methods, but also to understand them.
The concept of Deafblindness is very broad and encompasses all the degrees of sight-hearing disability, as well as the different types, depending on the time disabilities happened. The time Deafblindness starts plays a decisive role in the overall development, but especially in language and communication development.
In contrast, children who have learned to speak before becoming Deafblind tend to retain the oral language in the course of their lives, if no other special circumstances happen. On the other hand, people who became Deafblind when youth and adults, when they already had acquired the language, whether oral or sign language, usually retain their communication system, with the necessary adaptations in order to continue receiving messages by a different channel from hearing or sight for oral and signed communication respectively. Thus, the touch becomes the alternative channel that continues allowing the person communicate when becomes Deafblind.
All these are factors that influence the choice of the most suitable system for the beginning or development of communication, or to the setting that system, as the case may be.
Taking into account the heterogeneity of the Deafblind people population we cannot think of one single alternative system communication valid for everyone. In each case the communication system developed or used is given by the needs, characteristics and possibilities of each person. We can find Deafblind people who manage multiple communication systems, or others who manage only one of them in basic aspects, some of them communicate with natural gestures and many others do not have any communicative system.