Introduction to Deaf-Blindness and Etiologies
Helen Keller National Center is pleased to offer “Introduction to Deaf-Blindness and Etiologies.” This module is geared toward professionals who work with and/or support individuals who are deaf-blind but may also be beneficial for family members, friends and anyone interacting with an individual with a combined vision and hearing loss. It provides a general understanding of deaf-blindness including types of deaf-blindness, vision and hearing conditions, an overview of the various etiologies, and information about possible implications of deaf-blindness.
Understanding basic information about deaf-blindness, including etiologies, is important for anyone who is working with, living with, supporting or simply spending time with a person with a combined vision and hearing loss. Understanding the cause of a person’s combined vision and hearing loss can provide insight into their past experiences, the stability of their vision and hearing (is the loss progressive or stable?) and may help with communication, mobility and planning for the future. It is particularly important to understand that the combination of a vision and hearing loss creates a unique sensory situation that may have critical implications. Knowing what a person is able to see or hear is essential in establishing clear communication, ensuring safe mobility, assessing support needs and setting reasonable goals for employment, living situations, transportation and many other aspects of life.
This online module can be used in several ways: as a self-study course, with a small group of family or colleagues, as a supplement to a university course or as a requirement for people working with people who are deaf-blind in medical or care facilities.
Throughout our training modules, we use the term deaf-blind 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 Deaf-Blind (AADB) established by using the term “deaf-blind”. Recently AADB changed its use of the term to “DeafBlind”. For now, HKNC continues to use the term “deaf-blind” but is exploring this with an advisory committee of individuals who are deaf-blind. People who are deaf-blind 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