The term “deaf-blindness” may seem as if a person cannot hear or see at all. The term actually describes a person who has little or no useful sight, and little or no useful hearing. The amount of loss in either vision or hearing will vary from person to person.

Our nation’s special education law, the IDEA, defines “deaf-blindness” as:

“…concomitant [simultaneous] hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness. [§300.8(c)(2)]”

The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness observes that the “key feature of deaf-blindness is that the combination of losses limits access to auditory and visual information.” [3] This can severely limit an individual’s natural opportunities to learn and communicate with others.

This information is from the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY).

It’s very helpful to read more about deafblindness. Following are links to additional information:

NICHCY Deafblindness Resources
The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) offers brief, but detailed fact sheets on Deafblindness. Each fact sheet defines the disability, describes its characteristics, offers tips for parents and teachers, and connects you with related information and organizations with special expertise.

A – Z to Deafblindness
This website includes information on online resources, videos and training videos, equipment resources for deafblind, links to other sites, mailing lists, newsletters and much more!

Deafblind International (DbI)
Founded over 40 years ago, Deafblind International (DbI) is the world association promoting services for deafblind people. DbI brings together professionals, researchers, families, deafblind people and administrators to raise awareness of deafblindness. Central to our work is to support the development of services to enable a good quality of life for deafblind children and adults of all ages. Membership of DbI is open to organizations, institutions, networks, and individuals.

Deafblind Services – Utah Department of Workforce Services

Support Service Provider Program (SSP). SSP’s are for adults who are deafblind. This program helps to give deafblind adults more access to the world around them. SSP encourages community integration, increases the level of independence, and supports the rights of deafblind persons to have unrestricted access to their environment.They offer assistance with errands, reading, activities, and transportation, as well as providing equipment to people with significant combined hearing and vision loss so they can stay connected to friends and family.