Communication Tools

Low-Tech Nonverbal Communication

Can’t Talk? Don’t panic.

There’s a number of technology solutions to aid in nonverbal communication for quadriplegics, but sometimes people suddenly lose their ability to talk. Here are some low-tech solutions for nonverbal communication:

Close Eyes for Yes

If you don’t have other communication tools on hand, at the very least, you could say yes by blinking.

Your caregiver can guess what you might need, such as, “Do you need me to clear your airway? Close your eyes for yes.”

Quick Cards

In case of a nonverbal emergency, print and have these cards ready.

“Is what you want on that sheet?”

If no, go on to the next sheet. If yes, then: “Blink the number you want.”



Blink Code Alphabet

Blink the column followed by the row. It is slow and tedious, but you can specify exactly what you need.

You can also try tapping with your teeth.



Laser Pointer Communication

Get an LED dot-pointer with a switch that doesn’t need to be held down. Attach it to an arm of your glasses, or tape it to a hat.

Here is pointer that we found on Amazon:



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