Protactile is a new language of communication created by Deafblind people for Deafblind people. Unlike variations of sign language, Protactile relies on touch, allowing people to communicate directly rather than secondhand through an interpreter. Jelica Nuccio, a Deafblind person herself and lead trainer at the Deafblind Interpreting Institute, says that details can be missed when using sign language. Feelings of isolation are all-too-common among the Deafblind community. "The original intention was not to create a language: it was simply to be in communication with each other directly," says Nuccio. The U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration recently bestowed a $2.1 million grant to Western Oregon University to help train Protactile language interpreters.

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