Welcome to our social-haptic dictionary!

Here you can find haptic signals to communicate better with a deafblind person. Haptic signals can also be useful to blind people and people with low vision, to the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as to people with speech disorders and minimal communication skills.

Haptic signals (or haptices) are touch based messages that can be drawn on the person’s body mostly on the back, the arm, and the knee.

Social-haptic communication does not substitute the person’s preferred communication method, it rather adds more information to it.

In this dictionary you can find a selection of haptic signals known to be used in Estonia, Italy, Portugal, and Sweden. If you cannot find a signal in your own language, you can use the existing ones as inspiration.

Recommendations for use:

  • Make sure the receiver knows social-haptic communication and agrees with using it.
  • If you are a beginner, start with a few signals.
  • Make sure that the person agrees with the choice of the body areas. Also, make sure that the intensity of touch is acceptable for the receiver.

Big thanks to Riitta Lahtinen and Russ Palmer for their contribution to the project.


More information can be found here:

Russ Palmer and Riitta Lahtinen: https://www.russpalmer.com/social-haptic-communication

Hapti-Co Norway: https://hapti-co.com/english.html

The Danish Deafblind Association: https://www.fddb.dk/media/141088/haptic-signals-139-new-and-known-signals-english.pdf

The Finnish Deafblind association: https://kuurosokeat.fi/palvelut/kommunikaatiopalvelut/sosiaalihaptinen-kommunikaatio/

The Swedish Deafblind Association: https://nkcdb.se/stod-till-professionella/kommunikation/socialhaptiska-signaler/

A video about social-haptic communication (Norway, Hapti-Co): https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&feature=share&v=O9OZXwEBcWo

The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.