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The World Health Organization has developed a global framework to describe disability, health and functioning, known as the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). This framework helps to provide a consistent definition for disabilities that can be used to develop eligibility criteria for disability pensions, accessibility and accommodation policies, or in creating regulations for assistive devices. The ICF Core sets are instrumental in improving clinical practice, research, and service delivery for persons with disabilities.

The ICF Core Sets have been developed for over thirty health conditions like neurological, respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, mental health, and other health conditions, including hearing loss. To date, there has been no ICF Core Set developed for deafblindness.

DeafBlind Ontario Services partnered with researchers from the School of Optometry, University of Montreal to develop a research protocol for developing the ICF Core Sets on Deafblindness.The final step is an international consensus conference, which

will be held as a pre-conference event before the 18th Deafblind International World Conference in Ottawa in July 2023. Subject matter experts  from the WHO world regions will finalize the core set at that time.

The ICF Core Sets for deafblindness will be important in creating scientific evidence in the field of deafblindness and improving the lives of those who are deafblind. The Core Set will form a common language and understanding of the effect the disability has on individuals. Also, ICF Core Set can raise awareness of deafblindness, which can help health care professionals to ensure accessibility to health services for the deafblind population.

To read the full study protocol, click the link


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