• Română
  • English
Zoom in Regular Zoom out

10 Things to Know About Deafblindness

Article signed by Tracy Stines, a person with deafblindness, a writer and a promoter of the rights of people with deafblindness.

Busting the Stereotypes of Deafblindness

I was born deaf and legally blind. Throughout the years, I’ve had to explain and correct so many misconceptions out there.

For many people, when hearing the word “deafblind,” they instantly think of Helen Keller, the deafblind author.

People need to know that deafblindness is not “totally deaf and totally blind,” but actually a spectrum. Some may have low vision and be hard of hearing, others may be deaf and have limited vision, or be totally blind but hard of hearing.

I label myself as a Deafblind person, yet I wear glasses with limited correction and use a white cane. I also have a Cochlear Implant and can identify environmental sounds, but cannot understand speech without close lipreading.

Other Deafblind may hear and speak very well and can carry a conversation on a cellphone or not use a white cane regularly but have trouble navigating in dark areas and at night.

Whatever our variation in hearing or vision loss, here are 10 things you need to know about Deafblindness:

1) Please do not question our ability to see or hear.

A while back all across social media there was a viral picture of a woman with a white cane looking at a smartphone. There were many negative comments and doubts about her “blindness.”

As I already mentioned, deafness, blindness, and deafblindness are all on a spectrum of limitations. No two people will have the same degree of loss or even the same level of coping and independence.

We do not need to prove anything to you.

2) If you’re in our space, please do not move things around.

If you’re visiting someone with Deafblindness, do not move things around. We need things exactly where we’ve placed them so we can quickly find them again.

There’s no “scanning” visually for it, so if something’s moved, it takes us a long time to find it by touch. Even moving something a foot away, it is still “lost” to me.

This still applies in public spaces such as a restaurant. If we placed our fold-up cane, phone, or purse on a table or chair, please ask permission to move those before touching them.

If you do move something, tell us exactly where you put it.

To read the full article, please go HERE.