Deafblind American author, activist, and lecturer Helen Keller in 1904
Deafblindness is the condition of little or no useful sight and little or no useful hearing. Educationally, individuals are considered to be deafblind when the combination of their hearing and sight loss causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they require significant and unique adaptations in their educational programs. Helen Keller was one such individual.
Deafblind people communicate in many different ways determined by the nature of their condition, the age of onset, and what resources are available to them. For example, someone who grew up deaf and experienced vision loss later in life is likely to use a sign language (in a visually modified or tactile form). Others who grew up blind and later became deaf are more likely to use a tactile mode of their spoken/written language. Methods of communication include:
Use of residual hearing (speaking clearly, hearing aids) or sight (signing within a restricted visual field, writing with large print).
Interpreting services (such as sign language interpreters or communication aides).
Communication devices such as Tellatouch or its computerized versions known as the TeleBraille and Screen Braille Communicator.
Multisensory methods have been used to help deafblind people enhance their communication skills. These can be taught to very young children with developmental delays (to help with pre-intentional communication), young people with learning difficulties, or older people, including those with dementia. One such process is Tacpac.
Braille equipment includes a variety of multipurpose devices, which enhance access to distance communication. Some can be used as stand-alone devices connected via Wi-Fi, while others are paired with a mobile device to provide tactile access to e-mail, text messaging, and other modern communication resources. To receive braille equipment, an eligible consumer must be proficient in braille and must have access to the internet or cellular service. The telebraille does not have a computer communications modem but it does have a TTY (TDD) modem. It was designed as a TTY for deafblind people and is also very useful for face to face conversation. It has two components. The sighted component is a modified SuperCom TTY device. It has a qwerty keyboard and a single line LED dislplay. The display is regular size and is not particularly suited to people with low vision. The SuperCom TTY can be connected directly to the telephone line using conventional telephone jack or the telephone receiver can be coupled to the SuperCom on a cradle on top of the device. Text flows past the display, in a continuous stream, like tickertape The SuperCom is connected to the Braille portion of the device by a cable that is about two feet long. The Braille display is about 15 characters in width, although there is a knockout to allow additional characters to be installed, at considerable additional cost. The Telebraille is able to communicate in ASCI mode but it is not compatible to conventional computer modems. There is what looks like a RS232 socket on the back of the Braille component, but the instructions for the Telebraille state that this jack is for 'future use' and that no computer devices should be attached to it.
Prominent deafblind people
This list of "famous" or "notable" persons has no clear inclusion or exclusion criteria. Please help to define clear inclusion criteria and edit the list to contain only subjects that fit those criteria. (July 2014)
Francisco Goya (1746 – 1828): Spanish painter, deaf and blind by the time of his death.
James Mitchell (1795 – 1869): congenitally deafblind son of Scottish minister.