Deafblindness – A Unique Disability
- If 95% of what we learn comes from our eyes and ears, imagine what it must be like to be deafblind.
- Deafblindness is a complex disability that combines varying degrees of both hearing and visual impairment, making it unique to each individual.
- The world of an individual who is deafblind extends only as far as their reach. Through the specialized touch of our highly trained Intervenors, the world is brought closer to them.
- Although a person who is deafblind may not be completely deaf or completely blind, they do not have enough of either sense to navigate their environment independently.
- All individuals who are deafblind experience challenges with communication and mobility, most have additional physical and medical disabilities.
- Individuals with congenital or early adventitious deafblindness lost their sense of sight and hearing prenatally or shortly after birth, so they have no reference or memory of what it's like to have either sense.
- In 2004, Stats Canada reported 7,000 Ontarians live with deafblindness.
The People We Support
- Since 1989, DeafBlind Ontario Services has enabled individuals who are deafblind to live more independently through residential and community services.
- As each one of our clients had their own varying degree of vision and hearing impairment, they require their own method of communication and support.
- Without the support of our specially trained staff - Intervenors, our clients would have no understanding of every day concepts we take for granted; for instance an individual who is deafblind cannot understand the difference between a wall versus a closed door, or why you would sit on a chair and not a table. Even with this severe disability, our clients have the capacity to build their life skills, gain independence and contribute to the greater community with through our residential and community services that caters to their needs.
Click here to view DeafBlind International's Guidelines on Best Practice for Service Provision to Deafblind People - PDF Document (228 KB).