Deafblindness Resources

These resources relate specifically to deafblindness (Scout also provides more general resources about multiple disabilities). Students who are deafblind have unique educational challenges, but there are also organizations, communities, and groups that focus on deafblindness. The resources here include material for parents, teachers, and individuals.

Sense International (India) helps local organizations develop sustainable services for people with deafblindness. This site offers an online resource library with practical information.

Source: Sense International (India)

In this 5-page article, neurologist Dr. Fernette Eide explains the biology of sensory integration dysfunction and the role of occupational therapy in its treatment.

Source: Research Gate

Eileen Hammar and Anne Malatchi list seven ways to make the IEP team an effective one; available in Spanish.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

This guide focuses on the development of student portfolios to document "accomplishments, needed adaptations, modifications, and accommodations, including transition to the next environment or postsecondary environments." Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Source: Kansas State Board of Education

This 10-page booklet describes diseases, syndromes, and genetic conditions that cause deafblindness; information for teachers about affected students’ prognoses, vision, hearing, and overall health. This and other titles are available for download, but must be ordered online.

Source: Sense International (India)

This information sheet provides a thorough introduction to tactile communication strategies, including general interaction tips, suggestions for encouraging communication, and requirements for a communication system; in English and Spanish.

Source: Project SALUTE

Matt and DeAnn Foley list the most common mistakes that parents making during the IEP meeting and offers suggestions for how to address these; available in Spanish.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS administers a free library program that circulates braille and audio materials to eligible borrowers in the United States.

Source: Library of Congress

Robbie Blaha and Brad Carlson describe how to develop appropriate adaptations and strategies for teaching manual language systems to children who are deafblind.

Source: National Center on Deafblindness

Learn how to develop and use a Communication Portfolio for learners with deafblindness and multiple disabilities. Susan DeCaluwe explains this personalized view of the learner’s communication skills, abilities and challenges across all environments.

Source: Perkins eLearning Webcasts

Peggy Freeman's comprehensive program of care for parents of babies who are deafblind  with multiple disabilities includes sections on relationships, routines, vision, touch and touching, development of communication, moving/being moved, play, and signing.  Each section offers numerous concrete suggestions for activities to enjoy with your child.

Source: National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

Families feel the greatest impact of, and provide the greatest support to, people who are deafblind. In this webcast, viewers learn some of the common responses to a diagnosis of deafblindness, and how to find parent peer support for daily life and future planning.

Source: Perkins eLearning

This booklet includes advice on mobility and the environment, best practices, and resources. The checklist helps staff identify people who may have unrecognized sensory loss. Also available in plain text.

Source: American Association of the Deaf-Blind

This article provides practical advice for maximizing a child's participation, privacy, and comfort when using the bathroom.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

This article includes practical tips for teaching tooth brushing, bathing, hair washing, brushing and combing hair.

Source: FamilyConnect for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments

Dismissive phrases that exclude people who are deaf-blind from decisions and interactions.

Source: California Deaf-Blind Services (CDBS)

Project SPARKLE lists some of the features of touch which make it a crucial sense to children who are deafblind; includes resources and a glossary.

Source: Project SPARKLE

This is chapter 4 from Peggy Freeman's The Deafblind Disabled Baby: A Program of Care for Parents of the Deafblind Baby with Multiple Disabilities. She discusses the stages of touch and offers suggestions for activities at each level. (Microsoft Word Document)

Source: National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)

NCDB is an information clearinghouse on deafblindness. This site provides links to extensive resources, including a specific transition packet, articles and other publications, bibliographies, Internet resources, and related topics.

Source: National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness

Although this guide is designed for youth who are deafblind, much of the information is applicable to other youth as well. The materials in the appendices include a extremely helpful worksheets (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Source: Deaf-Blind Program, Center for Disabilities, South Dakota