What is Lorm

LORM is nor just a random aggregation of several abbreviations but it is a name – a pseudonym of a deafblind poet, philosopher and battailous journalist, native from the Southern Moravian city Mikulov Heinrich Landesman (9. 8. 1821 – 3. 12. 1902), who due to persecutions used pseudonym Hieronymus LORM.

Due to a sudden loss of hearing ability at the age of 15 and due to a slow worsening of his sight Hieronymus LORM became a creator of one of the systems of hand touch alphabet of the deafblind, so called Lorm´s alphabet, which is still in use in the CR as well as is many other countries.

Hieronymus Lorm (1820 – 1902), native of Mikulov in Moravia – he suddenly lost his hearing ability at the age of 15 during his studies at lyceum in Vienna and at the same his sight worsened. At the beginning of his thirties he was not able to lip-read any longer. In 1882 he lost the remains of his sight. For his personal use he created a touch alphabet, by which he was able to communicate with his family as well as friends. The daughter of H. Lorm made this alphabet public six years after his death – in 1908. It had quickly spread through the whole Europe and undergone many modifications. A healthy person, who does not know the touch alphabet, may for the communication with the deafblind use a one colored fabric glove with the indication of the individual letters.

The touch alphabet for the Czech language was created by Anna Aquina Sedláčková, one of the nuns of the Saint Karel Boromejský, who performed caring and pedagogical service in the asylum for the blind in Prague, at Hradčany (Country asylum for the children sightless and sight sick). Nevertheless A. Sedláčková did not take in consideration the necessity of touch perception and orientation that allows communication of the deafblind without mistakes. Individual sounds were assembled without regard to their frequency in the Czech language.

A. Špička, director of the Country asylum for the sightless in Brno, modified the Lorm´s alphabet for the Czech language. He considered crucial a continual touch of the hands of the speaker and the receiver. He used squeeze instead of touch for touch marks with difficult perception.

Society Lorm has decided to use for the communication of the deafblind modified version of the German Lorm´s alphabet. The following reasons were the cause:

  • The speed of communication (other ways of communication, so called dactylotics, is slower)
  • The ease of learning (suitable for children as well as adults)
  • The ease of touch perception and orientation of individual touch marks
  • The difference in frequency of the letters in Czech and German language is not very considerable

Also see document The Czech version of the Lorm's alphabet.