DeafBlind Association (NSW)

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About deafblindness

A person is deafblind if they have a combined sight and hearing impairment that causes difficulties with communication, access to information and mobility. These difficulties can occur even when hearing loss and vision loss are milder, because the two senses usually work together and one usually helps compensate for loss of the other. This is why deafblindness, (combined sensory loss) has a significant impact on a person’s life, even when they are not totally blind or deaf.

The nature and impact of deafblindness is affected by many factors including whether it is congenital (born deafblind) or adventitious (acquired).  There are variations within every group and each person brings individual perspectives and experience to living with dual sensory loss. No matter what the extent of loss, it may affect all or some of the following:

  •  communication
  •  learning
  • orientation and mobility
  • social relationships
  • isolation
  • confidence and self-esteem
  • independence in daily living skills
  • access to information, education and employment
  • access to interpreters and to aids and equipment because of cost

And all of these can cause fatigue and frustration in dealing with everyday situations.

Deafblindness is known throughout the world as the most isolating of all disabilities.

Find out more:

How do deafblind people communicate?

What kind of technologies can deafblind people use?

Frequently asked questions