Alphabets of disabled people

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):


Is this page fakoo.de free?
Yes, the website fakoo.de is absolutely free. All information and learning content is freely accessible and can be used by anyone unconditionally. Neither registration nor the provision of user data is necessary. Nevertheless, I would be very happy about a donation from you to maintain this free offer.
Who is this website fakoo.de for?
The website fakoo.de deals with the alphabets of people with disabilities and is therefore available to all interested parties who want to find out more about these alphabets or the communication of people with disabilities or who want to learn these alphabets. This also includes people with disabilities or people at risk of becoming disabled. At the same time, this site wants to break down and enlighten prejudices in relation to the use of alphabets by disabled people.
What are the requirements for use of fakoo.de?
All you need to use the fakoo.de website is a modern browser with Javascript support. Almost all static information can be accessed even when Javascript is switched off, but the use of the interactive learning pages must be avoided.
Why aren't points or anything like that awarded for the exercises on fakoo.de?
Learning on the fakoo.de site is generally done without points or ratings. Individual learning based on prior knowledge and personal suitability is only limited by the allocation of points, and failure to achieve certain goals is experienced as frustration.
The hunt for points, outbidding each other or even cheating in order to achieve certain goals or eliminate opponents contradicts the natural learning and also the basic concern of this site. The only way to learn alphabets or languages properly is through constant practice and practical application.
Is this website fakoo.de barrier-free?
The website fakoo.de was developed with special consideration of visual impairments and therefore offers most of the information in text form in addition to the graphic display. Invisible additional information has been incorporated for use with alternative output devices. Pure keyboard use is also possible. The site does not use Flash but only barrier-free Javascript (no Ajax) for interactions. For sensitive eyes, Javascript can be used to switch to a dark background.
Unfortunately, only sign language videos cannot be offered.
Why are Cаptchas used on fakoo.de, they are considered non-accessible?
In all forms on the fakoo.de website, a code is requested at the end, which is shown next to it. This appears to be a Cаptcha. However, this code does not represent a Cаptcha for recognizing human input, but the representation of the browser environment used (Javascript functionality, graphic representation, layout features, input options ...) in order to be able to isolate errors and respond accordingly to problems described. (That's why the same code is always displayed as long as you don't make browser or layout changes.)
Can I use the graphics shown on fakoo.de for my purposes?
The website fakoo.de is copyrighted. Therefore, in general, no graphics may be used for publications on the Internet or in electronic or print media without the written permission of the author of this site. The graphics marked with the CC logo, which are subject to a corresponding CC license, are an exception. The conditions of the Creative Commons license must be observed.
Creative Commons License by-nc-sa   /   Creative Commons License by-nc   /   or similar
What is the difference between writing and alphabet?
The word 'alphabet' comes from the ancient Greek (alphábetos, derived from alpha + betha) and describes a fixed order of the letters in a script. In English, this order is also called 'ABC'. But there are also scripts on earth for whose characters no order, i.e. no alphabet has been or can be specified e.g. sign writing).
(To make a dictionary you need an alphabet. If you don't have one, you have to invent one or find some other order.)
I am a member of the EMTs, what alphabet should I learn?
The most important alphabet in this sense is the finger alphabet to be able to communicate with deaf people in emergencies. That should be enough for short questions and answers. Sign language is only recommended for those emergency services who can refresh this extensive language regularly. If you need to communicate with deaf-blind people, a tactile alphabet can help. However, not all deaf-blind people can understand a tactile alphabet, but almost all can understand block letters drawn on the palm of the hand. So I recommend everyone to acquire the finger alphabet and the knowledge of how to deal with deaf-blind people.
What are trapezoidal texts?
A trademark of this website is the large number of elaborately handcrafted trapezoid texts, which are only visible in the desktop version (screen wider than 850 pixels). The aim was and is to indicate a course with texts and to make them visually more attractive.
trapezoid texts example
In order to design large texts in such a way that they optically get narrower at the bottom or top, the content often has to be adjusted or rearranged, words added, exchanged, separated or removed. On the one hand, this requires good language skills (German, English) and, on the other hand, a certain ambition.


Is Braille still relevant?
If you don't want to stand out in today's society, you need to have the necessary reading and writing skills. There is no way around Braille if you want to acquire and consolidate the necessary spelling skills or to be able to read books. Despite the increasing use of acoustic systems, books or other documents cannot be completely replaced in the educational, work or leisure sectors. In addition, speech output is annoying in certain environments or cannot be used due to noise. And finally, there is a huge difference between reading a book and listening to a book.
Is braille the same all over the world?
The basis for the international implementation of Braille was a uniform system of English Braille, which was adopted in early 20th century. After that, this Braille was introduced in all countries that used Latin letters (Romance language area).
In countries with other writing systems, the Braille characters have been adapted phonetically, even in China with their word writing, a phonetic Braille system is used. Today, all blind people in the world read Braille uniformly from left to right, even in Arabic-speaking countries. However, the Braille characters do not always mean the same thing.
In the Romance language area, only the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet are the same (corresponds to the grad 1). Umlaut, accent or phonetic characters are adapted to the respective writing system of the country (corresponds to grad2). And the abbreviations of the countries are adapted to the respective vocabulary and are therefore not internationally compatible with each other.
Where can I learn Braille as an affected / blind person?
People who want to learn Braille due to declining eyesight naturally have to learn to read it with their fingers. However, this is not possible via the Internet and due to the lack of sensitivity of the fingertips of formerly sighted people, it cannot be implemented quickly either. Those affected should therefore contact the local blind associations or organizations in order to learn tactile or haptic reading from a real Braille teacher.
(It starts with Grade 1. In order to learn the shorthand for the blind with its numerous abbreviations and extensive rules, one needs incomparably more time. In the case of late-blind people it takes two to three years.)
How long will it take me to learn Braille?
Depending on your willingness to learn, you can learn the Braille alphabet in 2 to 5 days. The alphabet is only learned visually, reading with the fingers is hardly possible for sighted people because of the lack of sensitization of the sense of touch. In a week or two, reading grade 1 with your eyes should no longer be a problem.
(To learn shorthand for the blind, with its numerous abbreviations and extensive rules, so that one can read books, one needs incomparably more time. With late binding one to two years count.)
Can I learn Braille using a system?
Braille is now round 200 years old and was developed very systematically by Louis Braille. However, this system is more of a hindrance to learning the letters and should therefore be ignored when learning or even taken as a basis. Instead, memorize the individual dot patterns of the letters like constellations and deepen your knowledge through constant repetition.
(You memorized the Latin alphabet also without a system, simply learned one letter after the other without analyzing possible connections or deriving one letter from another.)
Should I learn Braille (Grade 2)?
Shorthand for the blind was introduced around 100 years ago and, unlike the normal Braille alphabet, cannot be used internationally because it has to take country-specific word formations and spellings into account. Since the saving, despite complicated rules and the use of special characters, is only a maximum of 40% of the volume, and on the other hand the learning effort is very high (up to 2 years), it only makes sense to learn shorthand if you want to read real Braille books later.
(Shorthand is not usually used on the internet or on information boards in public places.)
Can I display Texts for the Blind with Unicode Braille characters?
Neither the use of Unicode Braille characters nor the use of a font that represents Braille will help blind people to read text on the Internet. Blind people read normal text with their means. So the text does not have to be changed.
Much more important for blind visitors is clear navigation through the website (orientation is also possible without Flash and graphics) and the description of images (at least alt attribute, better title attribute or longdesc function)
  • alt attribute if you can't see the graphic (replacement text)
  • title attribute if you cannot explain the graphic (additional explanation as a tool tip)
  • longdesc attribute if an extensive image description follows as a text file
How can I display Braille on the Internet?
There are basically two options:
  1. the Braille is displayed as a graphic  (in the alt attribute the text should be repeated for the blind)
  2. Braille is displayed with a font  (blind people see the normal text instead of the font)
Both variants of the optical representation of Braille are only for the sighted, blind people have nothing of it (see previous question). Rather, they still have difficulty reading the texts (forgotten or insufficient alternative text [alt attribute] or incorrect text conversion for special Braille fonts). The graphic with the same alternative text is recommended, since a uniform and correct display for all visitors cannot be guaranteed with fonts.
What is the difference between haptic and tactile?
In principle, both terms have the same origin, the sense of touch. Tactile means "touchable" and haptic means "perceptible". In the specialist literature, the term "tactile perception" is used for passive "being touched" and the term "haptic perception" for "active recognition" (including temperature and pain). Strictly speaking, when a blind person reads Braille, they perceive tactile information haptically. For the sake of simplicity, only the term tactile is used on fakoo.de.
Where can you buy braille tablets or braille material here on fakoo.de?
Nothing is sold on the fakoo.de website. Links to good German sites for selling Braille materials, books, machines or signs or blind watches can be found on the different sites by following the link Braille kaufen.

Fingeralphabet / Sign language

Is there a sign alphabet?
No. The finger alphabet, which is used in sign language to spell names and unfamiliar words, cannot reproduce any gestures (i.e. movement sequences plus facial expressions and posture). The sign language itself does not have an alphabet, since the number of signs is enormous and there is not (yet) an independent, generally recognized script for it.
How do deaf people use finger alphabet?
The finger alphabet is mainly used to spell unknown names or terms before a separate sign is determined for them. Finger alphabet is not suitable for full conversation with the deaf, but finger alphabet is used exclusively for dactyling with the deaf-blind
Are there international or regional differences?
Just as there are regional and international differences in spoken language, there are also differences in sign language and even in fingeralphabet. While these differences are still relatively small in the fingeralphabet, the sign language has numerous dialects and even age-dependent differences in the form of signs. vA basic form does not exist due to the lack of writing.
Why can't you learn sign language online?
On the one hand, sign language as the natural language of the deaf is very extensive, on the other hand there is no written form of expression for it. However, since sign language is a three-dimensional optical language, the only effective form of representation is video, which of course quickly exceeds the capacity limits of a website and also harbors the risk of confusion or misunderstandings if the representation is insufficient.
(When selecting offers, you should make sure that the hand position, movement and facial expressions of the gestures can be clearly recognized from the illustrations or videos.)
Of course, the best way to learn is in a course with a native speaker!
Why are the signs for other numbers missing in the finger alphabet?
Please do not confuse finger alphabet with sign language. With the finger alphabet, in contrast to sign language, numbers are formed from the digits as shown by the graphics. (By the way, all digits in the American finger alphabet can be formed with one hand.) In sign language, on the other hand, there are separate signs for 11, 12, etc. 20, 30, etc. 100, 200, etc. 1000, millions and the like (varies by region ).


How do deaf-blind people learn Lormen?
Since deaf-blindness is a multiple disability, language acquisition depends on when the individual disabilities occurred. Lormen is therefore the "mother tongue" for only a few deaf-blind people, even if it is the most commonly used form of communication among German deaf-blind people.
In those who are deaf-blind from birth, learning occurs through constant repetition of a word as a result of touching the palm of the hand (Lormen) and feeling an object at the same time. And this until the deaf-blind person recognizes the connection (infinite patience required).
Is lormen the only way for deaf-blind people to communicate?
No. There are numerous forms of communication for the deaf-blind, also depending on the onset of the disabilities and previous language acquisition or the respective technical possibilities. In the USA mainly the dactylation (finger alphabet) is used, in Great Britain the manual alphabet (two-handed finger alphabet) is used and in Germany the Lormen is primarily to be found. There are countless other ways that deafblind people communicate.


Is Moon used practically today?
No. The Moon alphabet has been almost completely superseded by the Braille alphabet and is only used in a few countries such as Great Britain in connection with special disabilities or in Latin America. The attempt to reintroduce the moon alphabet in Germany in the 1990s was discontinued after five years.
Can you use Moon on the computer?
The normal Moon alphabet consists exclusively of lines and cannot be used on the computer. But even the Dotty-Moon, which was developed for computer use, can only be printed with special Dotty-Moon printers, direct output on the computer is just as impossible as direct input of moon characters.
(This would only be possible with the 9-dot variant Moon-9, which was developed by the author of this page in 2008. The output could be directly on a Braille display.)


What are the advantages of the new relief writing Quadoo?
In contrast to other relief fonts, none of which are suitable for writing by hand by the blind, Quadoo consists of only six defined lines that can also be written (drawn) by hand using the simplest stencil. Quadoo is not a secret script, but it can be used in many areas (e.g. outdoors) as a temporary script or written as Code.
What distinguishes Quadoo from the similar HVD alphabet?
At first glance, HVD looks just like Quadoo. Both alphabets use the square with the two diagonals as a basis. But in contrast to Quadoo, the HVD alphabet has no digits and only 2 punctuation marks, and the assignment of the 24 letters to the Latin alphabet is sometimes incomprehensible (J, K, Q and X are missing, since HVD is a phonetic transcription, but Ð and Ø for certain sounds). Both were created independently, but HVD is due to poor legibility more of a code than a readable alphabet like Quadoo.


Why was another dot writing created?
The dot writing Fakoo [phonetic fa-koh: fɑ ˈkoː] is intended to enable the written exchange of information between blind and sighted people or to enable the late-blind or deaf-blind to communicate in writing or electronically without having to learn Braille.
(Many late-blind people cannot do anything with Braille, since the dots represent a secret code that cannot be deciphered and is intellectually overwhelming.)
Fakoo cannot and should not replace Braille. That's not possible. However, the main advantage of Fakoo lies in the recognition of Latin letters and Arabic numerals (shift characters are not required here). In addition, all Braille technology can be used for this writing, all Fakoo characters can be described by two Braille characters. (see also Fakoo advant)
Is this writing already being used in practice?
Since the braille Fakoo is still relatively new and is therefore not yet known to all potential users, no practical use is known. Interest has been signaled by the deaf-blind, while those responsible for the education of the late-blind have so far rejected this writing.