How Do You Communicate Without Speech?

Home » Blog » Career » Communication Skills » How Do You Communicate Without Speech?

How Do You Communicate Without Speech?

Speech is not only the single medium of communication. Individuals suffering from a lack of speech can use adaptive communication tools.

A person with speech impairment may benefit from an adaptive communication device. It is an aid that helps them express their inner feelings. For example, it can be difficult to understand what a person with a speech impairment is saying but bending down to their level and looking into their eyes can help them understand and convey their feelings. You can also put your hands on their shoulders or around their hands to show them you care and want to connect.

Supervisors can use communication aptitudes to present their concepts, set precise boundaries, encourage others, employ people with new ideas, and much more. They even include a combination of different techniques, such as listening, remaining silent, requesting the correct questions, and tapping into the message underlying the message, to name a few. But, these methods are highly applicable for those who can hear. What about those without speech?

The practice of delivering a message or meaning to others to build a shared understanding is communication. To communicate, you don’t always require words or a common language. For example, many deaf or hard of hearing communicate through sign languages rather than spoken languages. The affected persons, their immediate friends, family groups, and a few professionals are usually the only community members trained in these languages.

1. What Is Adaptive Communication?

Everyone communicates differently; some come more readily than others, depending on our personality and interests. Consider the following example:

Have you ever been called assertive? Is it normal for you to take the lead in conversations?
Do you have a habit of sitting on the sidelines during group discussions? Do you prefer that others make the recommendations?
Or, when it’s time to collaborate, do you frequently create rapport with others? Or do you find yourself guiding them back on the course more often?
In adaptive communication, people who can’t speak take the help of assertive methods. 

2. What Are Assistive Devices?

Any device that aids a person with hearing loss or a voice, speech, or language issue in communicating is an assistive device or assistive technology. In addition, these terms are frequently used to describe gadgets that assist a person in hearing and understanding what is being said more clearly or more easily expressing their thoughts. More and more gadgets are becoming available as digital and wireless technologies advance, allowing persons with hearing, voice, speech, and language problems to communicate more effectively and completely engage in their daily lives.

Adaptive alternative communication devices can be useful for people with speech disorders. Aside from talking to others, a device can also speak for the person. The technology behind these devices is similar to that used by Stephen Hawking. These assistive communication devices are adapted from computers to i Phones or iPad. The best of them can be modified to help the user with various tasks.

3. What Are the Many Sorts of Assistive Devices that Are Available?

Assistive devices are referred to by a variety of names by health professionals:

  • ALDs (assistive listening devices) help you hear what you want to hear by amplifying the sounds you want to hear, especially if there is a lot of background noise. ALDs can be used with a hearing aid or cochlear implant to improve a wearer’s ability to hear specific sounds.
  • People with communication problems can use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) equipment to express themselves. Basic graphic boards to a computer application synthesizing speech from the text are examples of these devices.
  • Alerting devices are connected to a doorbell, phone, or alarm that generates a loud sound or blinking light to notify someone with hearing loss of an upcoming event.

4. What Are the Many Sorts of Assistive Listening Devices?

There are several sorts of ALDs open to assist individuals with hearing loss in increasing proper communication. Some of them are made for huge spaces like classrooms, theatres, places of worship, and airports. Other varieties are designed for one-on-one chats and personal use in limited spaces. All of them are compatible with hearing aids or a cochlear implant. Hearing loop designs, frequency-modulated (FM), and infrared techniques are examples of ALD techniques for large facilities.

  • People with a voice disorder can use various types of alternative communication methods. One popular alternative communication method is a “sip-and-puff typewriter” that plays back the words typed into it. These devices were first developed for people with vocal disorders. Then, in 1986, Stephen Hawking started using a speech device called the Equalizer, which allowed him to select words and phrases and had a microphone mounted on his wheelchair.
  • Another form of assistive communication is an app that combines a voice synthesizer with GPS technology. For example, My Voice is an app for iPhones, iPads, and Android phones that can read out words as if they were spoken. The device can be customized and help a person with a voice disorder communicate with others. It is designed for hearing problems and is available for download on Android and Apple devices.

Using an app such as MyVoice can make the task easier for those unable to speak. It combines a voice synthesizer with GPS and is similar to the technology used by Stephen Hawking. It can be downloaded to an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. It allows users to create dictionaries and use customized voices. This means that those with hearing and speech impairments can communicate with others.

  • Electromagnetic energy conveys the sound in hearing loop (or induction loop) devices. There are four components to a hearing loop system:
  • A sound source, such as a public address system, a microphone, or a television or phone in the home
  • An amplification device 
  • A tiny wire loop that encircles a space or branches out beneath the carpet
  • A receiver can be worn in the ears or used as a headset.
  • The electromagnetic field created by amplified sound traveling through the loop is picked up directly by a hearing loop receiver or a telecoil (see sidebar), a small wireless receiver included in many hearing aids and cochlear implants. A listener must be wearing the receiver and within or near the loop to pick up the signal.
  • Radio transmissions are used in FM systems to convey amplified audio. They’re frequently used in classrooms, with the instructor wearing a small microphone attached to a transmitter and the student wearing a receiver tuned to a specific frequency or channel. People who have a telecom in their hearing aid or cochlear implant may also wear a wire around their neck (known as a neck loop) or behind their aid or implant (known as a silhouette inductor) to transform the signal into magnetic signals that the telecom can pick up directly.
  • FM systems range up to 300 feet and can be employed in various public areas. Due to the ability of radio signals to pass through walls, listeners in one room may need to listen to a different channel than listeners in another room to prevent obtaining mixed signals. Personal FM systems work similarly to larger-scale systems and can assist hearing loss in following one-on-one discussions.
  • Sound is transmitted using infrared light in infrared systems. A transmitter converts sound into a light signal, then sent to a listener’s receiver. The infrared signal is converted to sound by the receiver. People with hearing aids or cochlear implants with a telecom may also wear a neck loop or silhouette inductor to convert the infrared signal into a magnetic signal that their telecom can pick up, much as they do with FM systems.

Unlike induction loop or FM systems, the infrared signal cannot pass through walls, making it particularly beneficial in courtrooms where sensitive information is frequently addressed and in places where competing signals can be a concern, such as classrooms or movie theatres. On the other hand, infrared systems cannot be employed in locations where there are a lot of competing light sources, such as outdoors or in brightly lighted rooms.

  • Personal amplifiers are beneficial when the above technologies are unavailable, such as when watching TV, being outside, or driving. These devices, which are about the size of a cell phone, boost sound levels and decrease background noise for listeners. Some models contain directional microphones aimed at a speaker or other sound source. A receiver can take up the amplified sound that the listener is wearing, either as a headset or earphones, as with other ALDs.

5. What Are the Different Types of Alerting Devices?

Sound, light, vibrations, or a mix of these modalities are used by alerting or alarm systems to notify someone when a specific event occurs. For example, a person can choose to wake up to flashing lights, horns, or a gentle shaking from clocks and wake-up alarm systems.

A range of household gadgets and other sounds, such as doorbells and telephones, are monitored by visual alert signalers. For example, the visual alarm signaler will be activated when the phone rings, vibrates or flashes a light to notify others. Furthermore, remote receivers strategically positioned throughout the house can alert a person from any room. Parents and caregivers can use portable vibrating pagers when a baby is crying to alert them. Some baby monitors analyze a baby’s cry and display a visual to show whether the infant is hungry, bored, or sleepy.

6. Speaking Machines Designed for Those Who Cannot Speak

Disabled persons can sometimes not communicate successfully through words and sentences in the same way that normal people can. One option is to use some form of speech enhancement or speech-replacement machine for many of them.

There are a variety of speaking machines for disabled individuals on the market right now, with various modes of access, input, display, voice generation, and device kinds.

Methods of Input and Display

Their input and display methods range from simply typing letters, words, and sentences into a device to selecting pictures or symbols from a simple board or from a more complicated set of electronic panels that must be navigated to access all possible items and combinations to form more complicated messages.

The suitability and complexity of the input and display technique will be determined by the impaired user’s abilities and talents.


The output can be a series of digitized recordings of natural speech or an infinite number of messages that the speaking machine can generate from the user’s inputs and then say aloud using synthesized speech. The latter is more adaptable, but it may be less vigorous than pre-recorded messages, which may feature the voice of a friend or even the user herself if recorded during the early stages of the illness.

In any case, synthesizers are improving and making better sense of the text, allowing for proper pauses and inflections, resulting in a more natural and less robotic voice.


Adaptive alternative communication devices can be useful for people with speech disorders. Aside from talking to others, a device can also speak for the person. The technology behind these devices is similar to that used by Stephen Hawking. These assistive communication devices are adapted from a computer to an iPhone or iPad. The best of them can be modified to help the user with various tasks.

Aspects such as language and tone of voice can influence how a person hears a message. For example, if a person has a hearing impairment, a person might prefer a person who speaks in a language compatible with their particular needs. In addition, by learning and using adapted alternative communication devices, a patient can stay in touch with friends and family through text messages. This can help them get the information they need.

Adaptive alternative communication devices are a good option for people with speech impairments. These devices can help them get the right information and express themselves. For example, a person can create custom dictionaries to record their speech to improve their understanding of a message. Some of these devices will even allow them to create a personalized dictionary. If someone cannot speak, the best way to communicate with them is to let them know that they are deaf and hard of hearing.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.

Leave a Comment