Working with Individuals who are DeafBlind: A Course for Vocational Counselors and Other Professionals

A woman signing I Love You and wearing a work shirt while surrounded by piles of white towels

This course provides VR counselors and other related professionals with information and resources that will help them support individuals who are DeafBlind to find and maintain fulfilling employment that leads
to a high quality of life.

Although there are many references in this course to the vocational rehabilitation field, other professionals working with individuals who are DeafBlind can benefit from almost all of the information in this course as it is primarily focused on specific supports and strategies that can apply to a variety of situations.

This module will focus on the role of the VR counselor when working with individuals who are DeafBlind.  A brief introduction to communication, necessary accommodations and possible implications from various hearing and visual conditions will be provided in this module. However, HKNC highly recommends you consider the following courses to best meet the needs of your DeafBlind customers.

    • Introduction to DeafBlindness and Etiologies
    • Communicating with Individuals who are DeafBlind
    • Remaining Current in the DeafBlind World

Throughout this course, we use the term DeafBlind to refer to a
diverse population of individuals with varying degrees of combined
vision and hearing loss. Helen Keller National Center has historically
followed the guidelines that the consumer organization, American
Association of the DeafBlind (AADB) established by using the term
“DeafBlind”. Recently AADB changed its use of the term to “DeafBlind”.
For now, HKNC continues to use the term “DeafBlind” but is exploring
this with an advisory committee of individuals who are DeafBlind.
People who are DeafBlind may have their own preference about how they
are identified. Other terms that are commonly used are: combined vision
and hearing loss, blind and hard of hearing and dual sensory loss.

CRC CE Hours: 2.0
ACVREP CE Hours: 2.0

Modules Included


Understanding Each Individual

Type of DeafBlindness and Etiology

Life Experiences

Academic and Employment Potential

Communication Preferences and Interpreting Needs


Help with the In-take Process for Vocational Rehabilitation

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

Eliciting Confidence in the Person and Employer

Supporting the Person to Get and Maintain a Job

Vocational Assessments

Finding a Job

Identify the Team

Coordinate the Team

Share Information

Assessing Continued Support

Progressive Nature of DeafBlindness

Self-Advocacy and Self-Determination

Transition Students

VR Counselor Role in the Transition Process

Plan for Technology

Help with VR Process

Ensure Appropriate Teaming

Self-Advocacy and Person-Centered Planning

Utilize WIOA



Additional Courses

A collage of four images showing a boy holding of a drawing in a sketchbook, two men touching hands and doing tactile sign, a woman and a man touching hands and doing tactile sign, and a woman running outside
A person using a braille display with an iPhone


Ensuring Equal Access and Participation

CRC CE Hours: 2.0
ACVREP CE Hours: 2.0

Two people holding a small yellow object while one of the people also holds a cane


Inclusive Communication

ACVREP CE Hours: 1