Haptics Video 4



How do you determine what information to prioritize when providing visual and environmental information?

Video image description: A close up of a woman signing into the camera.

You might be wondering how a provider can prioritize information they give to the receiver.  First and foremost, you want to use the information that will allow the deaf-blind person a more complete picture of their surroundings.

TITLE SLIDE: Factors that Influence the Type and Amount of Information to be Provided Include:

  • Situation or Setting
  • Role of the Receiver
  • Current Status of Vision and Hearing
  • Age of Onset
  • Personal Preferences

TITLE SLIDE: Situation or Setting

Other things that may influence how you prioritize information include setting type, is it more formal or more casual, is it a school setting, a meeting perhaps or a job interview, or is it more social, like a recreation event or social gathering?

TITLE SLIDE: Role of the Receiver

What is the deaf-blind persons role in this setting?  Is the deaf-blind person facilitating a meeting or discussion or are they a participant?  If the deaf-blind person is leading the meeting or perhaps in a teaching role, the type of information that provided to them might be more plentiful as they need that information to stay on task and manage the situation whereas, if the deaf-blind person is a participant may require less information to be an active participant in the setting.

One example comes to mind, I am a Supervisor of a department and one of my functions is to hold weekly staff meetings.  As the facilitator, all dialogue is being provided to me through a tactile American Sign Language who is seated to my left.  I don’t have enough usable vision to see if my staff are attending to me, are they looking at me oddly, are they looking down, texting, rolling their eye, or chatting - all of this is unbeknownst to me?  I need to know reactions so I can manage them effectively. So if, for example, two staff people are chatting with each other, I can interrupt and ask what they are talking about. If someone rolls their eyes, I can immediately ask about their reaction to what just happened so we can have a dialogue about the content.  

Now as a participant I would also be oblivious to the chatter going on around me as I am attending to the speaker at hand. Since I’m not facilitating the meeting, that chatter is not as pertinent to me. Typically, a participant requires less information than one who is facilitating or leading a meeting.  

TITLE SLIDE: Age of Onset and Current Status of Vision and Hearing

Let’s talk a bit about when one’s vision loss and hearing loss occurs. I grew up Deaf and later started to lose my vision.  I had an excellent visual memory, was able to see and recognize colors, a great fashion sense and was able to see what people looked like but as my vision started to deteriorate, this type of information vanished.  However, I highly valued and wanted this type of information.  I wanted to know the color of things, what someone looked like, what clothes people were wearing.

Conversely, someone who was born blind does not have a visual memory, has never seen color or what people look like or what clothes they are wearing. The type of information that they value is not inherently the types of information we would want are different. So color, type or style are likely meaningless for them.  

TITLE SLIDE: Personal Preferences

Personal preferences will vary based on setting, based on the role of the deaf-blind person and quite honestly their individual priorities.  Some people may want an enormous amount of information whereas another person may want significantly less information.  For some, too much information is simply overwhelming.