I grab her hands. She places them over mine. I make a sign, and another, and yet another one. She now holds my hand. I extend my palm. And she makes signs over it. Tick, tick, tick. These are hands that laugh, that feel; they are the hands of two blind and deaf persons who speak silently.

She talks to me using dactile signing over my palm, a method of communication that consists of a sign for each letter of the alphabet. So by making sign after sign, she makes up words over my right hand’s palm. I talk to her using sign language, by placing her hands over mine in order to feel sign language through touch.

Raquel and I are roommates in Madrid. But moreover we are two blind and deaf persons with different characteristics who show the world, on a daily basis and without even thinking about it, that communication is at our fingertips. After four months of living together, I still get goose bumps when talking to each other. Because we might not see nor hear well, but we do feel. And most of what we feel, we feel it through our hands.

The drawing depicts Raquel and Javi using tactile signing in their flat, while Raquel’s guide dog, Halima, is at the back.

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