Manually Coded English (MCE)

Manually Coded English (MCE) is made up of signs that are a visual code for spoken English. You may have heard of Morse code. Morse code is a system of dots and dashes that can be tapped out to form English words and phrases. MCE is a code for a language — the English language. Many of the signs (hand shapes and hand motions) in MCE are borrowed from American Sign Language (ASL). But unlike ASL, the grammar, word order, and sentence structure of MCE are similar to the English language.

Parents who are not familiar with MCE can take classes. Like all building blocks, you can start teaching MCE to your child even when he or she is an infant. Also, experts in MCE can work with you and your baby to help learn MCE.

Children and adults can use many other building blocks along with MCE. One building block that is commonly used is finger spelling, which is used to spell out words that don’t have a sign in MCE — such as names of people and places.