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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Communication Modes

Division of Community Health Promotion

American Sign Language (ASL)
A visual-gestural language with vocabulary and grammar that is different than English

Pidgin Sign Language (PSE)
English-like signing
The use of American Sign Language in English word order with a blending of important characteristics of ASL and English

Signing Exact English (SEE) or Seeing Essential English (SEE II)
Communciation through signing every English word in a sentence.  Includes many signs invented for this purpose, which are not part of American Sign Language.

Total Communication
Communication of ideas and feelings through any and all means, such as speech, using residual hearing, gestures, speech reading/lip reading, sign language, fingerspelling, pantomime, and writing.

Cued Speech
A manual supplement to lip reading/speech reading that uses hand positions to augment the visible lip movements of speech.

The use of hand shapes to represent letters of the alphabet.  There is a different hand shape for each letter, and letters are formed one after another to spell out words. Sometimes referred to as the Rochester Method.

Lip Reading/Speech Reading
Understanding a spoken message by observing a speaker's lips, face, expression, and body language; attending to relevant cues in the environment; and using knowledge of the rules of English and principles of interpersonal communication.

Using a pen or marker and paper to receive and convey the message between deaf/hard of hearing and hearing person.

Modified from "TIPS for Communicating with Deaf Employees," National Technical Institute for the Deaf Center, Center on Employment.