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Deafblindness may be congenital or acquired, the problems being complex in both cases.

In case of congenital deafblindness, visual problems may occur at birth, while hearing problems may be noticed later in life.

Acquired or accidental deafblindness occurs after birth, due to diseases or trauma or as a result of aging.

Categories of deafblindness / multisensory impairments (MSI):
•    hearing and visual impairments, congenital or acquired in early childhood – DEAFBLINDNESS
•    congenital hearing impairment, acquired visual impairment – DEAFBLINDNESS
•    congenital visual impairment, acquired hearing impairment – DEAFBLINDNESS
•    acquired hearing and visual impairments – DEAFBLINDNESS
•    people with congenital or acquired visual impairments presenting associated deficiencies, such as learning deficiency, communication or physical disability – MULTISENSORY IMPAIRMENTS (MSI)
•    people with congenital or acquired hearing impairments presenting associated deficiencies – MULTISENSORY IMPAIRMENTS (MSI)