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
- Understanding Deaf-Blindness
Chapter 2 “Understanding Deafblindness” from
Remarkable Conversations : A Guide to Developing Meaningful Communication with Children and Young Adults who are Deafblind is available at the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness website.
Borrow the book at the Internet Archive’s Open Library online.
- Identifying Children Who Are Deaf-Blind