According to IDEA

  • Is a combination of hearing and visual impairments
  • Causes severe communication, developmental and educational needs that cannot be addressed by programs and interventions designed for just deafness or just blindness


What are some effective strategies for working with children who have deaf-blindness?

  • As often as possible, create opportunities for students to interact and collaborate with other students in structured activities
  • Build exploration and touch into your teaching
  • For students who have limited hearing/vision, reduce auditory and visual distractions so that students can focus exactly where they need to focus
  • Learn about and use assistive technology such as speech to text, adjustable type, etc. that can help with communication and learning
  • Offer extended response times
  • Communicate with families and professionals about tools that are helpful for students
  • Practice experiencing the world minus one or both of your senses; how did you feel, what did you experience, how would you change your instruction to compensate for the reduction of your senses?

View a Video

Deaf-Blind Heroes

When we think about the experience of someone with a very disabling condition, the loss of both vision and hearing, we often think of the inspirational Helen Keller who successfully managed this condition.  But there are numerous heroes living and working independently and competing athletically.  Meet Sarita, Patrick, Bill, Aimee, and Gethin, along with some of the family, friends, and professionals who have supported them, to focus on what is possible. Click the names below to view a video of each hero’s story.

American Association of Deaf-Blind

The American Associate of Deaf-Blind offers guidance, support, and expertise for professionals, families, and individuals affected by deaf-blindness…

Click here to visit the association’s website.

Key Words for Educators

  • Interaction
  • Exploration
  • Environment

by The Johns Hopkins University School of Education Center for Technology in Education