Although the term deaf-blind implies a complete absence of hearing and sight, in reality it refers to varying degrees of hearing and vision loss. The type and severity differ from person to person, but the key feature of this condition is that the combination of losses significantly limits an individual’s ability to access auditory and visual information. The majority of children who are deaf-blind also have additional physical and cognitive disabilities and/or complex healthcare needs.
Deaf-blindness is one of the most complex disabilities encountered by families and school districts. Fortunately, there is a network of projects, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, that provide technical assistance to families and educators serving students with this disability. The network includes a deaf-blind project in every state and the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB).
If you are a family member, teacher, or other individual involved in the life of a child who is deaf-blind, please contact your state deaf-blind project for information and assistance.
NCDB has an extensive website with a library and products to support family members and personnel who serve children with deaf-blindness, aged birth through 21. Topics include:
- Family-to-family connections and support
- Finding and serving children early in life
- Qualified personnel
- Effective teaching practices
- Preparing for and transitioning to a happy, successful adult life
To learn more about NCDB and the state deaf-blind projects visit About the National Center on Deaf-Blindness.
For additional information on deaf-blindness, including causes, vision and hearing characteristics, and educational practices, see NCDB’s Deaf-Blindness Overview page.