What is an Intervenor?

Intervenors are specially trained professionals who act as the "eyes" and "ears" of the individual who is deafblind through the sense of touch.

Intervenor and client's hands

Intervenor and client communicating

Intervenor and client exploring their environment


  • Intervenor Services is a process, not a means to an end. It is required for a lifetime.  
  • The intervenor is a communication partner, acting as the bridge between the person who is deafblind and the world through a Total Communication Approach.
  • Total Communication Approach: to use as many methods of communication as needed to facilitate the exchange of information.
  • The philosophy of DeafBlind Ontario Services’ intervenors is “Do with, not for”. They work with individuals who are deafblind, helping them learn through experience, empowering them to make informed decisions and be active participants in all areas of their lives.


Intervenors: A Specialized Profession

The specialized training of intervenors has always been a priority at DeafBlind Ontario Services. This was formalized in the development of our TOUCH™ training program, which has strengthened the competencies of those who touch the lives of individuals who are deafblind. DeafBlind Ontario Services intervenors can be designated as Certified Congenital DeafBlind Specialists (CCDBS). 


How do they communicate?

Because of the complexity involved in having two sensory impairments, individuals who are deafblind require services that are unique from those designed exclusively for either blind people or deaf people. Since every individual who is deafblind has a varying degree of sensory loss, they will have their own unique individual way of communicating – such as through tactile symbols, objects of reference, various forms of sign language or Braille.


Intervenor Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Ethical Conduct - June 2018

This Code of Ethics applies to all professionals who are fulfilling the role of an intervenor, or a similar role (i.e. SSP, Student Support Counselor, Educational Assistant with a deafblind student, etc.).

The Intervenor Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Ethical Conduct is based on the vision that, “all Canadians who are deafblind have the right to fully access all information/communication clearly and without bias. This includes the right to fully participate in their community by accessing qualified intervenors that uphold the highest standards of professional integrity, competence, and ethics”.