It was not before sixteenth century, an Italian doctor named Jerome Cardan got the idea of teaching deaf-mutes through written characters. As a result of his work finger alphabets were developed, similar to the finger alphabets used today. With the help of finger alphabets, a deaf-mute makes the letters with his fingers and spells out words. He also depends on sign language. Many teachers of deaf-mutes prefer to teach by ‘Oral instruction’. In this method the deaf are taught to understand what is spoken to them, and even to speak themselves.
These days many deaf and hard of hearing learn to interpret, what is said by watching the lips of the speaker. Hearing aids are also being used more and more these days.