Simultaneous Communication

Simultaneous communication (SimCom) is talking and signing at the same time.  This is especially useful for the person who is late-deafened and hearing family and friends. When using SimCom you do not need to sign articles of speech (the, a, an).  You also do not need to sign any form of the verb to be (is, are, am).  This helps to de-clutter the sentence visually and keeps the focus on what’s visually important to communicate.

Continue to talk, by saying every word in the sentence, even if you do not know the sign, and keep the focus on signing the words you do know. The person you are communicating with has receptive abilities that may help with receiving the communication, whether it is auditory or speechreading abilities, or simply using guess work by filling in the signing gaps with the context of the topic.

A characteristic of a good SimCom student, is being able to express what one wants to express, even with a limited sign vocabulary. Starting to use SimCom now will help you to get your hands moving.  At first it may feel awkward and you may be worried you are not signing it exactly right. That’s all part of the learning process. You do not need to sign perfectly nor do you need to know every sign there is to express yourself! The desire to communicate is all you need! Use expression and gesturing to supplement the communication.   Remember, you can always fingerspell a word that is visually important to the meaning of a sentence.

From the mime and sign families vocabulary, see how many phrases you can sign with what you now know.  This is a solution focused approach (“what’s strong and not what’s wrong”) to help people who have become deaf and their hearing allies, to start signing now by keeping the focus on what you do know and not what you do not know!

Below are some phrases and sentences to get you started on building your own creative list of working the sign vocabulary.  Try working on one group of 5 phrases at a time.  You do not have to be a fast signer.  It is more helpful for new signers to go slowly and practice the correct action.  As you learn, you will feel more comfortable and see how fun it can be to talk with your hands.

Look up the words in the video dictionary to sign the following phrases.  If you are oral, speak the phrases as you sign (simultaneous communication).  Use facial expressions to help show meaning.  It can help to think of yourself as acting out what you are saying.

Group 1:

Drinking a cocktail

It is cold downstairs

Love ice cream

Putting on makeup

Hugging the baby


Group 2:

A baby book

Where is the comb?

The bathroom is upstairs

Calling the dog

On the telephone.  


Group 3:

Contact lens tore

Hugging the baby

Calm down! Pray!

Team member

Congratulating the staff


Group 4:

Fond of the violin

Marijuana addiction

The team is shooting baskets

Grab a mop

The library is quiet.


Group 5:

It’s a confusing topic.

Turning down the request to bowl

Throwing in the towel!

Scolding the dog

Team member 

Group 6:

Loathe exercising

Zip the hood

Typing a book

Scoop of vanilla ice cream

Library funds


Group 7:

Bride brushing hair 

Beating bananas

Try the cold faucet

Where is the seasoning?

Tossing a salad


Group 8:

Requesting a microphone

Fluttering eyelashes 

Environmental emergency

Clinical chart

Legal form


Group 9:

Good luck fencing

Hesitant to kayak

A calm nature

Baby loves puppets

The injection itches


Group 10:

Baseball league

Health insurance

Semester class

Interviewing the staff

Economical ups and downs

Group 11:

Negotiating policies

Atlanta legislature

Missionary praying

Put aside the gun

Accordion music


Group 12:

Tie the apron

Wringing out the golf towel

Liberal atmosphere

Moral conditions

Volleyball team

Emergency huddle


Group 13:

Poetry workshop

The Brownie group is canoeing. 

Royal family

Agency staff

Family’s heritage


Group 14:

Resume characteristics

Boston museums

Free cultural exhibit

Philadelphia orchestra

Basketball rally


Group 15:

Regional traditions

Health background interview

A noble king

Qualifies to referee