Deafblindness

Sometimes known as 'dual sensory impairment' or 'multi-sensory impairment' , deafblindness is more than a combination of visual and hearing impairments. A person can be born deafblind (congenital deafblindness) or acquire deafblindness later in life. The needs of these two groups, and the barriers they face, can be very different. Deafblind people may not be totally deaf and totally blind; many have some remaining hearing and vision. With an impairment of the two 'distance senses', deafblind people find that their mobility, communication and access to information are greatly affected.

Worldwide, there are an estimated 2.5 million people with deafblindness, most of whom experience high levels of poverty and social exclusion with extremely limited access to health care, education and social welfare support. In developing countries, children and adults who are deafblind are often institutionalised, kept in isolation or simply abandoned. However, with basic support and education, people with deafblindness can and do communicate, support themselves and become valued members of their communities. Clearly, there is a need to ensure that the rights of people with deafblindness are included in all development action.

The aim of this key list is to raise awareness on deafblindness and to provide access to resources to support development practitioners, service providers and parents/carers.

This key list has been produced in partnership with Sense International. We welcome your suggestions: please send comments or suggested additions to: sourceassistant@hi-uk.org

Sense International

Selected resources

Introductory resources

About CHARGE

SENSE INTERNATIONAL
2008

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This factsheet describes the common effects of the condition CHARGE. It outlines some of the most common conditions associated with CHARGE, the number of people who suffer, and it outlines early years, development and education for children with CHARGE, their families and professionals

About rubella

SENSE INTERNATIONAL

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This factsheet describes how a child can be affected if a woman has rubella (often called German Measles) while she is pregnant. It oulines congenital rubella syndrome, vaccination success and long-term health concerns. Links are also provided to information about rubella and pregnancy, symptoms, diagnosing and preventing reubella

Causes and syndromes leading to deafblindness

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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This booklet describes the causes, syndromes and genetic conditions that may cause deafblindness. Knowledge of conditions that cause deafblindness provides teachers with important clues to students’ health status, physical stability, potential development as well as understanding of symptoms and the progression of students’ conditions

Congenital rubella syndrome

SENSE INTERNATIONAL

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This factsheet describes the potenital impairment, incidence, immunisation success and long-term health concerns of congenital rubella syndrome

Hearing - knowing it better

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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This booklet discusses some of the common elements of hearing impairments, focusing on the more usual forms of hearing impairment and hearing losses that occur in the early years. Hearing impairment in childhood takes many forms, from the slight reduction in hearing sensitivity, to the total inability to hear spoken language. This booklet is designed for practitioners and educators to detect hearing impairment and understand the degree of hearing loss

Inclusion : understanding basic concepts

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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This booklet offers a basic understanding of what inclusion is and what it means to teachers, parents, students, administrators and board of education. The focus is on baseline information for dealing with the delicate balance of teaching disabled and non-disabled children as an integral part of educational development movements. This booklet would also be useful to parents in supporting their roles as advocates for their children based on accurate information

Resource library

SENSE INTERNATIONAL INDIA

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This resource library provides informative links to key topic factsheets related to deafblindness. Information addressed in the factsheets includes the following topics: screening and assessment tools, communication strategies, teaching strategies, play activities, behaviour management, inclusion, mobility techniques and sensory integration

Schemes and concessions

SENSE INTERNATIONAL INDIA
2006

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This factsheet provides useful information about schemes and concessions for people with disabilities in India. It includes details about various disability policies and rights in India, as well as emphasising the importance of establishing networks for people with deafblindness. This information is particularly helpful to people with disabilities, their family members, their carers and professionals in India

Screening and assessments

THAWANI, Vimal
2006

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This factsheet describes how to identify and diagnose deafblindness with specific reference to the Indian context. Information is provided on how to develop an appropriate programme for children in rural settings and how to create awareness among the community about deafblindness. This resource would be helpful for professionals who are working with people with sensory impairments and those working towards including deafblindness issues in mainstream development action

Sense International

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This international NGO promotes the communication, connection and interaction of deafblind people in the developing world. This website provides links to the organisation's regional programmes and details about their work. Educational information is available about the causes of deafblindness, the situation in developing countries and communication methods

Sensory integration : basic concepts

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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This booklet looks at the different ways to stimulate a child with sensory impairments so that they are able to integrate or use together all senses to get the meaning from events and people around them. Many of the activities discussed facilitate cognitive development of deafblind children

Syndromes associated with deafblindness

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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Deafblindness is a low incidence disability and there is a lack of information on deafblindness, especially in health professions in India and South east Asia. This publication provides information to raise awareness about deafblindness and the different conditions and syndromes associated with this condition. This booklet is useful for all health professionals, especially pediatricians, child specialists, neonatologists, general physicians and referral doctors

The good life

SENSE INTERNATIONAL
November 2003

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This booklet offers information about sight and hearing loss in later life, and gives advice on how to make the most of the remaining hearing and sight. It aims to help readers understand what relatives are going through, how they can help, where to go for more support and how they can fill in the gaps that have appeared in their life

Vision - using it better

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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This booklet aims to increase understanding about vision, visual impairment and residual or useful vision, and how vision is assessed. It has been compiled for all who live or work with deafblind children and young adults or those who have visual impairment along with one or more additional disabilities

Activities of daily living and skills development

Communicating

SHEVDE, Sampada
2006

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In this factsheet, communication is defined and verbal and non-verbal methods are explored. Communication strategies for working with children who are deafblind are highlighted including teaching methods, expressive communication, receptive communication and communication interaction. This practical resource would be useful for anyone wishing to improve their communication with people with sensory impairments

Management of children with deafblindness with cerebral palsy : feeding, oromotor skills and self-care skills

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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There are many children with deafblindness who have associated disabilities such as autism and epilepsy. Deafblind children with cerebral palsy sometimes have orthopedic and other functional impairments which are challenging for parent and teachers to manage. This booklet targets parents and teachers of children who are deafblind to improve the management of feeding, oromotor, and self-care skills

Management of children with deafblindness with cerebral palsy part 2 : developing fine motor skills

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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Children with deafblindness sometimes experience a range of associated conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism and epilepsy. Often children with deafblindness and cerebral palsy can experience difficulties in participation which impacts their abilities to learn, explore and express themselves in their immediate environment. This booklet provides activities to facilitate the development of fine motor skills and play skills with children with deafblindness to maximise their participation in daily activities

Orientation and mobility for deafblind people

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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For deafblind children the ability to move about freely in the environment is sometimes difficult but is an important step towards independence. This booklet covers definitions of orientation and mobility, outlines the importance of them and gives techniques for guiding children that are suitable to Indian culture. It also describes concepts and skills that deafblind children need to learn and understand

Toilet training for children with deafblindness and multi-sensory impairments

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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Children with deafblindness have varying degrees of hearing and vision impairments which can impact their participation in activities of daily living. Deafblind children with multi-sensory impairments often have additional difficulties with participation in activities of daily living. Toilet training is important for children to develop their independence and dignity, as well as to develop and maintain good hygiene skills. This booklet provides useful information for family members, special educators, care workers and professionals to understand and support children with deafblindness in toilet training

Inclusive Education

A comprehensive book on individualized educational programme (IEP) for children with deafblindness and multi sensory impairments

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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A multidisciplinary team is responsible for creating and evaluating individualised education plans (IEPs) for students with deafblindness. Writing a complete IEP is often perceived as a challenging task by many special educators. This booklet provides a step by step guide to understand, develop and write effective IEPs for children with deafblindness. This booklet is useful to special educators and families working with deafblind children

Screening and assessment formats

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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This booklet is designed for professionals, special educators, school teachers and development CBR workers for screening, identification and completion of functional assessments and individual education plans for children with deafblindness and multi-sensory impairments (MSI). The booklet provides forms used by Sense International (India) and gives guidance to use them as a tool for screening and assessing children. This publication is useful for organisations and educators working with deafblind people

Starting to think about education

SENSE INTERNATIONAL
2008

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This article identifies legislation and local government policies that are intended to support the educational rights of disabled children and their families. The aim is to raise awareness

Teaching strategies and management of deafblind children

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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Everyday activities such as; walking, running, bending, sitting, writing, dressing, are not always easy for children who are deafblind. This booklet offers some strategies to parents, carers and teachers for teaching such skills to deafblind children

Supporting Families

Difficult behavior and how to manage them

SENSE INTERNATIONAL (INDIA)

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This booklet offers suggestions for developing deafblind children’s behaviour and attitude in a positive way and how to reduce or change unwanted and difficult behaviour. It is a compilation of materials and literature that are readily available and will be useful to teacher and parents as a basic self study guide

Helping my child

KASHYAP, Sunanda
2006

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This factsheet provides practical advice for parents and carers about how to help deafblind children to learn everyday activities, such as eating, grooming, dressing, bathing, mobility, positioning and play

Playing with my child

SHEVDE, Sampada
2006

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This factsheet explores the importance of play for children with deafblindness, covering various types of play, such as sensorimotor, physical, symbolic and games. Information is provided regarding suggested timing of play activities, positioning for play activities, properties of toys and details of activities that can be used as play. This resource is particularly useful for parents and carers of deafblind children