How to Read and Use Sign Language in Your Escape Room

Posted by Phil Janelle on

Believe it or not sign language can be an effective way of communicating a numeric code, clue, or short message in your Escape Room. Sign language by definition is a visual form of communication. Some of the more intricate and complication hand movements/gestures do not translate well to medium such as engraved wood, but the basic alphabet and digits 0-9 certainly do.

Each letter of the alphabet and single digit can be expressed by a single hand. Letters Z and J involve movement, but this is easily conveyed via arrows indicating the motion involved.

See the image below to see how the alphabet and 0-9 are represented in sign language:

Can you envision different methods of implementing this in your Escape Room?

One method we devised is through the use of a panel displaying the different configurations. We came up the aptly titled "Sign Language Panel."

Do you know what this says or do you need a bit of help?

One of the great things about using sign language is the creative ways you can assist your escape room participants in decoding the message. For example: Perhaps you have the symbol for "H" (the leftmost in the image above) pointing to a book whose title begins with the letter H. If you are using it to relay a numeric code you could have 7 notches below the symbol for 7 somewhere in the escape room. These ideas are rather basic, but hopefully they jump start some of your own.


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