Haptics Video 1



Haptics: A standardized system for providing and or receiving visual and environmental information as well as social feedback via touch signals on the body.

Video description: A close up of a woman signing into the camera.

Hello I’m Maricar Marquez.  I’m going to be talking to you about Haptics.  This is the sign for Haptics.

Image description: Both hands are positioned palm facing down at chest level with elbows bent. The right hand is placed on the left wrist and then the left hand is placed on the right wrist.  This happens in a fluid motion.   

Haptics is a method that affords people access to environmental, visual and social information.  This information is critical for individuals who are deaf-blind as it affords them the ability to make choices and/or decisions based on the environment they find themselves in.  It allows a more complete “vision” or perception of the setting and the content within. Please keep in mind, I am not speaking of information that is communicated through speech or American Sign Language but rather a person’s facial expression, that might look facetious, something I might overlook because I simply cannot “see” it. Haptics allows me to have a full understanding of what is happening around me. It completes the picture for me.  

TITLE SLIDE: Examples of the type of information that one can receive using Haptics include: Visual and Environmental information such as facial expressions, directional information, size amount and intensity, actions, layout of a room or area, food or drink items, identifying people, and description of people and objects.  Haptics can also provide social feedback such as personal reactions, directives, prompting, confirming or negating, identifying oneself, and sharing personal emotions. And so much more

Haptics is a system of standardized signals but note, it is not a language.   These signals have specific parameters and are placed in a specific location and have specific meanings.

TITLE SLIDE: People who are deaf-blind use a variety of methods to access visual and environmental information.  Haptics is only one method.

Deaf-blind people receive information in a variety of ways, including speech, sign language, text and/or touch.  

TITLE SLIDE: There are benefits to receiving visual and environmental information via touch (Haptics).

The two main benefits of Haptics over other methods is that it affords the receiver the ability to receive information in real time. And it allows the ability for it to be conveyed discreetly.  Typically, while communicating there is a lot of turn-taking, or waiting before you can respond.  Using Haptics, one is able to provide feedback without disrupting the flow of the communication actively engaging in the conversation.

For example, suppose I am facilitating a large group meeting, where I’m at the head of the room and my boss walks in.  My provider cannot interrupt my presentation, while I’m speaking in front of a large audience to give me this critical piece of information, it’s obtrusive and potentially disruptive.  Through Haptics my provider can discreetly, in real time, give me this information and I can continue my meeting ensuring that I am aware that this key person has entered the room. Again, it's done discreetly.

Image description: Here is an image of Maricar at a recent Haptics training.  To her left is a tactile interpreter who is interpreting a question that’s being asked by a member in the audience. And to her right is a Haptics provider who is providing Haptic signals on her back.

I just shared an example of how Haptics can be used to receive visual and environmental information for the meeting I was facilitating.  Now I’d like to talk about using Haptics to receive personal interaction or feedback in a one on one or small group setting.

So, I’ve spoken a lot about how Haptics can be beneficial in a large group setting but now I’d like to hone in on its benefits in 1:1 or small group setting.  Haptics affords a deaf-blind person the opportunity to glean information such as laughter, someone smiling, perhaps looking quizzically that happens in a conversation where I might miss these cues if I’m unable to access them visually.  The addition of this type of feedback allows me to engage instantly, appropriately, and actively be part of the conversation and with those around me.

TITLE SLIDE: How Haptics has Impacted My Life

Haptics is such a tremendous resource. As a deaf-blind person I highly value the ability to access the information around me.  But as my vision deteriorated, as my hearing deteriorated I simply didn't have the same access to information and I lost my connection to things around me.  Haptics has given that back to me.

TITLE SLIDE: For more information…

For more information on Haptics, we have a wealth of information available to you. The Helen Keller National Center is available for questions, please contact us.  We have online courses, we have training available, we have a Haptic book. Feel free to reach out to HKNC at any time.

TITLE SLIDE: Contact HKNC at: PLD@hknc.org