People who are both deaf and blind have two major disabilities. Many of these people may have even more disabilities than deafness and blindness. These people have struggles that are unique and severe.
How many Canadians are Deaf-Blind?
The number might surprise you. According to the Canadian National Society of the Deaf-Blind, in 2001 an estimated 3,306 Canadians were Deaf-Blind. Over 45 percent of Canada’s Deaf-Blind community was over the age of 61.
What are the specific struggles that accompany this particular disability mix?
For parents of Deaf-Blind children, the struggles are profound. One Deaf-Blind child’s foster parent reported feeling “helpless” toward their “vulnerable, defenseless child.”
Another parent commented on her reaction to finding out her child was Deaf-Blind. She said, “We had such a terrible initial diagnosis. I felt devastated then. The pain physically hurt. I thought, ‘I will never laugh or smile again.’ My whole world has changed.”
Clearly, both the Deaf-Blind individual as well as his or her family needs understanding, compassion, and support.
There are supports available to Canada’s Deaf-Blind community.
One of these supports is the Canadian Deafblind Association. The Canadian Deafblind Association’s desire is that “all people who are deafblind will live rich, meaningful lives.”
The Canadian Deafblind Association promotes awareness, raises funds, provides helpful resources, supplies research materials, and hosts events for the Deaf-Blind community of Canada. In these ways the Association presses forward to fulfill its desire of seeing Deaf-Blind individuals live full lives.
To get connected to the Canadian Deafblind Association, visit its website at http://www.cdbanational.com/en/indexe.html.
The Canadian Deafblind Association also has a website in French; see http://www.cdbanational.com/fr/indexf.html.
Visit http://www.cdbanational.com/en/links.html to find links to plentiful Deaf-Blind resources.
Do you want to learn more about Deaf-Blindness? Do you know someone who has both of these disabilities? If so, consider connecting with the Canadian Deafblind Association today.
*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority. Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.
Let’s Talk About It
Can you hear the frustration in the voices of the parents of Deaf-Blind children? Can you imagine how life would be if you had a Deaf-Blind child?
What are some of the struggles that you imagine accompany the life of someone who is both deaf and blind?