People have acquired deafblindness if they have become deafblind after the acquisition of language. Three types of acquired deafblindness are recognized:
Anything pertaining to the science of hearing that includes the treatment and rehabilitation of persons with impaired hearing.
Reception of information which facilitates the development of concepts. A concept is something conceived in the mind (e.g., thought or notion) and can be:
A person is congenitally deafblind if they have become deafblind before the acquisition of language.
Deafblindness is defined as a significant degree of hearing and vision loss, the combination of which affects communication and access to information.
The cause or origin of a disease or disability.
Expressive communication involves relaying thoughts, ideas or feelings to another person in the individual’s mode of communication.
The process that allows an individual who is deafblind to receive non-distorted information such that he or she can interact with his or her environment.
An intervenor is a person who provides intervention to an individual who is deafblind. An intervenor mediates between the person who is deafblind and his or her environment to enable him or her to communicate effectively with and receive no-distorted information from the world around them. An intervenor acts as the eyes and ears of the person with deafblindness.
An interpreter provides a professional communication service to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Professional interpreters are knowledgeable in the language and culture of both Deaf and hearing people and provide communication in both a sign language and spoken language.
Modes of Communication
The imparting of information, thoughts or opinions, using one or more techniques or strategies that compensate for vision and/or hearing that is limited or absent. Examples include tactile signing systems, Braille, large print, communication boards.
A trained professional who assesses capacity and assists individuals to develop the skills to achieve greater independence. Interventions used by occupational therapists include rehabilitation of motor function, sensory function, interpersonal skills, and neuropsychological functions. Occupational therapists also adapt environments to maximize the individual’s abilities or support the desired behaviours and skills. (Source: Wikipedia)
Anything pertaining to the science of vision, that includes diagnosis and treatments of defects and diseases of the eye, including surgery or other types of treatment, including eyeglasses or other optical devices.
Orientation and Mobility Specialist
A trained professional who teaches individuals with reduced or no vision the techniques to use environmental information combined with visual, tactual and auditory techniques in order to move about safely, comfortably and confidently. An O&M specialist assesses the individual’s skills and provides personalized instruction.
A professionally trained service provider who treats physical dysfunction or injury by the use of therapeutic exercise and intervention, intended to restore or strengthen normal function or development.
Any artificial part that is used to supplement a physical disability or condition.
The process of receiving and understanding a message.
Organization of sensory information to enable the individual to act on and interact with the environment.
Development of the ability to do something.
Equipment that helps improve the quality of life and independence of an individual who is deafblind, as well as ensure safety, provide access and assist in communication.
The philosophy of supporting the right of person who is deafblind, deaf or hard of hearing to communicate in whatever way is most effective. Total communication allows the individual to use all available sensory and communication abilities so he or she will be equipped to decide which method or methods can be used with comfort and confidence.
A Study of Deaf-Blind Demographics and Services in Canada, Watters, Colleen and Owen, Michelle. CNSDB 2004
DB-LINK Information on Deaf-Blindness, www.nationaldb.org
Random House College Dictionary, Revised Edition 1984
Starting Point: A Resource for Parents of Deaf or Hard of Hearing Children, Canadian Hearing Society, 1999