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 Services is a process, not a means to an end. It is required for a lifetime.
- Intervenor Services must always provide the individual who is deafblind with the information required for anticipation, motivation, communication and confirmation. The key to participation is Intervenor Services.
- Without Intervenor Services, our clients would not be able to understand and navigate their environment or communicate effectively with others, and will become isolated and withdrawn.
- The philosophy of Intervenors is “Do with, not for”. They do not act as caregivers but assist our clients with communication and life skills to become more independent.
Specialized Training for a Unique Disability
The need for high quality, specialized training for this profession is imperative to the success of our clients. Intervenors are expected to become proficient in the preferred mode of communication of the person they are working with e.g. Signed Exact English, Adaptive Interactive Tactile Sign Language, American Sign Language, Fingerspelling, etc.
Individuals who are born deafblind often have additional cognitive and physical disabilities, and other medical issues. Therefore, Intervenors are trained to not only provide critical communication support, but to also address these additional physical, cognitive and medical challenges. DeafBlind Ontario Services has developed a unique comprehensive TOUCHTM training program that trains our Intervenors on the many techniques used to communicate with individuals who are deafblind.
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.