Information on Combined Vision and Hearing Loss

Introduction

Close-up of hands engaged in tactual sign language

Combined vision and hearing loss didn't stop with Helen Keller.

Overview

People who are deaf-blind live and work in communities all across the country. Most are not totally blind and profoundly deaf─ rather, they have some degree of combined vision and hearing loss. The deaf-blind community includes individuals who are congenitally blind with hearing loss, congenitally deaf with vision loss and congenitally deaf-blind, as well as those who were born sighted and hearing and became deaf-blind due to aging, illness or trauma. It has been estimated that there are more than 1 million adults with combined vision and hearing loss in the United States​, and a recent study by the Community Research Institute at Molloy College​ puts the number as high as 2.4 million​. Their capabilities and preferences are as diverse as their backgrounds.

Whether you are looking for information for yourself or a family member, HKNC can help you find the resources you need. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, contact your regional representative for assistance.

Career Possibilities

HKNC alumni have found fulfilling careers in areas ranging from restaurant and retail work to business management and software engineering. They’ve gone on to run their own businesses, become artists and make their mark in competitive workplaces around the country.

Learn More About Career Possibilities

Common Causes

Combined vision and hearing loss is often the result of age-related issues, but it also can be traced to genetic conditions, illness, premature birth or trauma.

Learn More About Common Causes

National Registry

HKNC maintains a confidential national registry of people who are deaf-blind. The information we collect informs our research and program planning, and enhances our advocacy efforts.

Learn More About the Registry

Resources

You need answers about what’s out there for you, and HKNC has them. Find out about the resources that are available in your state, across the country and online, and let us help you access the ones that are right for you.

Learn More About Resources