Hearing and Sight Solutions
Hearing and SightSolutions

Care and Support for

Deafblind Children and Adults

Deafblind Awareness Resources

We know that over a third of a million people in the United Kingdom experience some degree of difficulty with communication, access to information and mobility as a result of their combined sight and hearing impairment. Most of these people will have been sighted-hearing people who have found these two essential senses deteriorating as they get older. About 356,000 people are regarded as deafblind. Most of these rely on a combination of clear speech and lipreading for communication but a significant number are profoundly Deaf users of British Sign Language or severely Hard of Hearing people who rely on lipreading for their receptive communication.

 

By and large, deafblind people fall into four main categories:

 

 

Children who are born deafblind (congenital deafblindness) will need support in learning how to communicate and will need to learn the purpose of mobility and safe ways of getting about. Click on the link to the right for more information.

 

 

 

People who are born deaf and become deafblind later will have learned to rely very much on their vision for communication and mobility. Sight loss will make both very difficult for them. Click on the link to the left for more information.

 

 

People who are born blind and lose their hearing in later life will find mobility particularly difficult as they have learned rely on sound to help them know about traffic and crowd movement. Click on the link to the right for more information.

 

 

 

The majority of deafblind people become deafblind in later life. Also known as acquired deafblindness iy requires tremendous adjustment to get used to new ways of communicating. Click on the link to the left for more information.

Deafblind people often have difficulties with communication, access to information and mobilityEach deafblind person will have their own experience of sight and hearing loss which makes it difficult to prescribe specific means of mobility or communication.

 

Click on the picture-link for more information.

Most deafblind and hard of hearing people find it difficult to hear what is being said in a conversation. This results in the deafblind or hard of hearing person opting out and becoming isolated.Clear speech is essential if conversation is to be meaningful.

 

Click on the picture-link for more information.

Some deafblind people are unable to receive communication using speech and will need a tactile form of communication. The Deafblind Manual Alphabet uses touch to represent letters of the alphabet. The person wishing to communicate will use their own fingers to spell words on the hand of the deafblind person. Deafblind Manual can also help to supplement communication by speech by spelling out a word which has not been heard or understood clearly.

 

Click on the picture-link for more information,

In 2014 the Department of Health updated the guidance for local authorities on providing services for people with a combination of sight problems and hearing loss.  Care and Support for Deafblind Children and Adults asks local authorities to identify deafblind people in their catchment area and to ensure that they have access to appropriate support.

 

 

Click the picture-link for more information.

Deafblind people do not come with a label attached to them. Not every deafblind person uses a red and white cane or has a guide dog. Many may not even think of themselves as being deafblind. We need to know what signs suggest that a person is deafblind and how to ensure that the right support is put in place.

 

Click on the picture-link for more information.

Communicator-Guides provide one-to-one support to people who have a combination of sight problems and hearing loss. A Communicator-Guide should normally hold the Signature level 2 award in Communicating and Guiding with Deafblind People.

 

 

Click on the picture-link for more information.

Not all carers are sensory impairment specialists. But it is essential that they have some basic awareness if they are to fully support the needs of a person with sight problems and hearing loss. A Sensory Care Management Passport can be used to give basic information about how the service user is affected by their deafblindness and some simple suggestions about how support can be tailored to meet their needs.

 

Click on the picture-link for more information.

Deafblind people have interests, knowledge and skills which they want to share in the same way as anyone else. Sensory impairment is not a barrier to fulfilment and should never be used as a cause for social exclusion. 


This page gives some ideas for activities with deafblind people including gardening, housekeeping, baking and cooking together with suggestions for games that will stimulate imagination, memory and mobility.


Click on the picture-link for more information.

Most deafblind people want to continue to do the same things they have done throughout their lives - and for many, this includes attending church. There is much that can be done to make church services more accessible to people with sight problems and hearing loss. This short article, by Methodist Local Preacher Richard Lucas, puts forward some ideas for worship leaders.

 

Click on the picture-link for more information.

Hearing and Sight Solutions is a leading provider of training in a range of  issues related to deafblindness. Our short courses include:

For further information please take a moment to look at our Training Brochure for 2014

Further information

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