Who are deafblind people?
The term “deafblind” stands for individuals who have simultaneous impairment in both senses – hearing and vision. Deafblind people significantly different as per the level of quality and type of hearing and vision impairment. Due to that, expression of deafblindness differs. As per quality of hearing and vision, deafblind people are divided into following groups:
- Simultaneously completely deaf and blind persons;
- Simultaneously deaf and vision impaired persons;
- Simultaneously hard of hearing and blind persons;
- Simultaneously hard of hearing and vision impaired persons;
A person may become deafblind at any age – from birth till the end of life. It can be caused by a disease, trauma or family genetics.
Deafblind from birth and those who got the defect later (sometimes at quite a later age) radically differ. Among them are persons who had impairment of one of the senses from birth or gained later and who have gotten impairment of the second sense later. They were used to living with poor or no vision or poor or no hearing. Later impairment of the second main sense restricts such opportunity. Due to the double sensory impairment, deafblind persons have problems with spheres necessary for independent life, such as communication, mobility and receiving information. Therefore, for operating in an environment they need support from competent professionals (translator-guides), adapted environment, provision of auxiliary technologies and other necessary services.
When providing services to deafblind persons, when helping them, must be considered the space for their dignity, independence and autonomy.