People who are DeafBlind
A person with any degree of both hearing and vision loss may be described as DeafBlind. (This may also be written Deaf–Blind.) People who are both deaf and blind have unique communication needs that may challenge programs designed for individuals with one or the other sensory impairments. Special programs have evolved, as well as specific communication techniques.
The following resources may be of interest:
Programs in Michigan
Provides a variety of services for children and youth through age 25. Services are free to families.
Helen Keller National Center
The mission of the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf–Blind Youths and Adults is to enable each person who is deaf–blind to live and work in his or her community of choice. The organization provides a variety of services.
HKNC North Central Region
(Michigan, Ill., Ind., Minn., Ohio, Wisc.)
Laura J. Thomas – Regional Rep.,
Tara Cook – Administrative Assistant,
485 Avenue of the Cities, Suite #5
East Moline, IL 61244–4040
(309) 755–0018/0021 (TTY)
(309) 755–0025 (FAX)
Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB)
This is a state agency that assists people who are blind or DeafBlind with employment and independent living.
201 N. Washington Square, 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 30652
Lansing, MI 48909
Cindy Caldwell, DeafBlind Specialist
Self Help for Independency in Michigan Equalizing the DeafBlind is focused on improving the lives and well being of DeafBlind individuals through educating the public and supporting individuals to realize their potential.
Contact Jill Gaus
Voice/TTY (517) 764–6178
The Arizona Deafblind Project website includes a very complete description of deafblindness.
Interpreting for people who are DeafBlind on E–Michigan
Although written for interpreters, this section provides many helpful tips for communicating with someone who is DeafBlind.
DeafBlind International (DbI)
An international association promoting services to people who are DeafBlind.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), Usher’s Syndrome is the most common condition involving both vision and hearing. See the NIDCD Fact Sheet on Ushers Syndrome.