About Deaf-Blindness

The term “deaf – blindness” refers to any combination of vision and hearing losses that impacts an individual’s communication, learning, and/or functioning.  Other terms often used to describe deaf-blindness are “dual sensory impaired” or “dual sensory loss.”  Persons affected by deaf-blindness may or may not be affected by other disabilities.  Regardless of other disabilities, individuals with both hearing loss and vision loss are considered persons with “deaf-blindness.”

Impact of Deaf-Blindness

It is widely accepted that about 80% of what we learn is acquired through vision and another 19% is experienced through hearing.  When these two major channels are affected, development can be impacted in many areas:

  • communication, language, and literacy
  • movement and motor skills
  • cognitive / intellectual development
  • emotional, behavioral, and social skills
  • participation in daily living, including recreation and leisure activities
  • employment and transition to adult life

Identifying Children Who Are Deaf-Blind